CHEERS – To empowering young girls. Nearly 200 girls from local schools participated in the Tech Savvy Summit for girls earlier this week. The youths in grades six through eight attended technology and science workshops at Fulton-Montgomery Community College. The workshops served as a way to encourage the girls to consider careers in those fields. We’re sure the event, organized by the Amsterdam-Gloversville-Johnstown branch of the American Association of University Women, opened the eyes of at least some of the girls. Men outnumber women in most science, technology, engineering and math careers. Events like these promote the need for more women to pursue STEM.
JEERS – To double dipping. According to the Empire Center for Public Policy, more than 500 people have sought and received permission to collect public pensions while being paid by state or local governments since 2015. That means taxpayers pay their salary and pension at the same time. “Taxpayers are ultimately responsible for backing public-pension benefits and paying public-worker salaries. They have a good reason to question why they’re paying someone twice,” said Tim Hoefer, executive director of the Empire Center, an Albany-based think tank. Hoefer says the state Legislature should consider putting new public employees in a defined-contribution retirement plan, which would be less expensive. Considering the high cost of state workers’ salaries, benefits and pensions, lawmakers need to look at measures to get the system under control.
CHEERS – To booting the tampon tax. New York’s Legislature has given its final approval to exempt tampons and other feminine hygiene products from state sales taxes. The measure is expected to take effect in the subsequent sales-tax quarter. It exempts tampons, sanitary napkins and panty liners from the 4 percent state sales tax and local taxes. Other medical necessities such as bandages, medicine and condoms already are exempt. Some consider the tampon tax sexist. We welcome its long-overdue demise.