New York State Comptroller

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dinapoliThomas P. DiNapoli

Champion for pensions, fiscal policy and integrity

Thomas P. DiNapoli gets it. He knows what's important, not just for NYSUT members, but for all working New Yorkers. "There is no better friend to the working people of New York state than Comptroller DiNapoli," said NYSUT President Karen E. Magee. "He is a tireless champion of retirement security and an exemplar of financial stewardship."

He also recognizes the value of the work NYSUT members do, on the job, and on the street advocating for the fair use of state resources and sound public fiscal policy, DiNapoli thanked NYSUT members at the RA this year for their efforts, which he said were crucial to winning an increase in state aid to schools, funding for full-day prekindergarten and the Legislature's affirmation of the right of the state comptroller to audit charter schools.

"That was an important victory for taxpayers," he said. DiNapoli was appointed comptroller in 2007 when the office was mired in scandal and immediately took steps to restore the reputation and integrity of the office. He has aggressively fought public corruption and the misuse of taxpayers' dollars and has spoken out against fiscal gimmicks and government inefficiency. In 2010, he was elected to a full term.

Of key importance to NYSUT voters, DiNapoli has always stressed the importance of defined benefit pension plans and providing a secure retirement for seniors. In concrete terms he has strengthened one of the nation's top public pension funds, which stands at an all-time high value of $180.7 billion. "For those who try to replace defined benefit pensions with defined contributions, I say ... Not on my watch as state comptroller," he said in 2013. "Challenging economic times should not be a rationale for taking away hard-earned benefits for public employees."

His career in public service started at age 18 when he was elected as a trustee of the Mineola Board of Education. In 1986, he was elected to the state Assembly. During 10 terms in the Assembly, he was recognized as a leading voice on environmental, education and local fiscal issues.

DiNapoli's opponent, Onondaga County Comptroller Bob Antonacci, is a certified public accountant and a lawyer. In a meeting with the editorial board, Antonacci said he would press for pension reform, including a defined contribution plan similar to a 401(k).

DiNapoli has been committed to protecting taxpayer dollars by fighting corruption and waste, restoring integrity to the Office of State Comptroller and safeguarding retirees' pensions.

As the state's auditor, DiNapoli has identified billions in waste, misuse and cost savings through audits of local governments, state agencies, public authorities and state contracts. When he found problems, DiNapoli pushed for change and held government accountable to ensure New Yorkers get the most for their money.

"This guy is our champion," said NYSUT Executive Vice President Andy Pallotta. "Tom DiNapoli has strengthened pensions, rooted out waste and abuse, and demanded accountability from private companies that take public dollars but fail to produce quality services, products and jobs for New Yorkers."