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Comptroller: State Spent Record Amount On Overtime

Thomas DiNapoli
Courtesy NYS OSC
Thomas DiNapoli

The New York State Comptroller says the Cuomo Administration racked up a record $611 million in overtime payments over the past year.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says the 16 percent increase in overtime payments between 2012 and 2013 comes mostly from employees in institutional settings, like prisons and psychiatric centers.  The State police also paid troopers $35 million in overtime payments, at an average of over $74 an hour.  DiNapoli says the uptick comes at a time when state government has been downsizing employees.

“We ask state agencies to take a hard look at how they use overtime,” said DiNapoli. “And to certainly double their efforts to reduce what is becoming an expensive habit.”

In a statement, a spokesman for Governor Cuomo’s budget office defended the practice. Spokesman Morris Peters says the 2.4 percent increase in overtime hours is “dwarfed by the fact that overall payroll has decreased by nearly $750 million”  in the past three years.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of public radio stations in New York state. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.
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