State Fiscal Year to End With Guv on a Permanent Vacation
By Fred Furnace
Published February 2nd, 2015
ALBANY – Due to a large accrual of “use it or lose it” vacation days, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday he will be taking an extended absence through March 31, the end of the state’s fiscal year.
"I failed to properly keep track of my vacation days," said Cuomo, who still has 30 days left. “I am now completely maxed out of what I can carry over into next year. I will thus be forced to use those vacation days immediately.
"If I don't use these vacation days now, I'll have completely wasted them," the governor added. "Vacation days are part of my compensation package. Not using them would be like leaving money on the table. That would not be fair to myself, or my family. Especially in this economy."
The state government is expected to grind to a halt with Cuomo's extended absence.
"He won't be available to sign important bills or introduce legislation," said an exasperated William W. Williams, a Republican assemblyman from the 47th District. "Most importantly, I don't know what will happen with the state budget."
Williams said the state may be forced to close offices, suspend services and furlough or displace approximately 200,000 employees if a budget for fiscal 2015 is not passed by March 31.
"This is a real calamity," said state Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos. “I guess we will just have to sort out this budget mess when he returns in April."
The poor timing of the vacation schedule was not lost on Cuomo, but he placed the blame squarely on shoulders of the state's inflexible employee benefit rules.
“Take it up with HR,” quipped Cuomo.