Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today confirmed that the report regarding the Common Retirement Fund being diverted to balance the budget or pay bills was incorrect. Following rightful concern that individuals would begin to lose their retirement investments to a state spending spree in the efforts of curbing short-term financial struggles, Hawley wants to make it clear that no such risk is present.

       “With what seems like crisis after crisis occurring during these past many weeks, I was as concerned as the people of my district that we were headed for yet another batch of bad news,” Hawley said. “Thankfully, it appears that in this instance, the messaging was simply unclear. The $50 million is really being used as a revolving loan program with all funds being paid back. I hope people can breathe a bit easier with this clarification.”

            It is important to note that this is not the first time the Common Retirement funds are being used this way. The Comptroller’s office and the Common Retirement Fund have a long relationship with Pursuit having provided business funds for more than 1,000 qualifying New York businesses in all 62 counties to retain jobs and expand. The fund’s allocation to Pursuit redirects a large portion of the existing available loan program funds to address the COVID-19 crisis.

In regard to the initial question of funds being diverted from retirement savings, the state Comptroller’s office has confirmed that ‘…The Common Retirement Fund's investment portfolio is very diverse and consists of stocks, bonds, ETF's and even loans. The Comptroller is viewing this funding the same way it views it's other holdings, as an investment.’ For those looking for the Comptroller’s original release on the matter, click on the link here.

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