Pension Crisis

Lobbyists Representing Government Bodies Enjoy Public Pensions

Which are probably underfunded

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ALBANY, N.Y. — As a lobbyist in New York's statehouse, Stephen Acquario is doing pretty well. He pulls down $204,000 a year, more than the governor makes, gets a Ford Explorer as his company car and is afforded another special perk:

Even though he's not a government employee, he is entitled to a full state pension.

He's among hundreds of lobbyists in at least 20 states who get public pensions because they represent associations of counties, cities and school boards, an Associated Press review found. Legislatures granted them access decades ago on the premise that they serve governments and the public. In many cases, such access also includes state health care benefits.

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