Proposals have been circulating around the state capital that will impact the futures of teachers right here in Central New York. If signed, it will allow them to retire early without penalty.

According to the Utica OD, Assemblyman Tom Abinanti told the USA TODAY Network New York that he's hopeful the teachers union and school districts could work out a deal that would allow educators with 25 years of service who have reached age 55 to retire early.

"The teachers union, NYSUT, has been speaking with superintendents and the school boards on making the bill acceptable to everyone, and we’re hopeful we’ll be able to reach an agreement," Abinanti said.

Here's the thing: the bill has yet to land a Senate sponsor, and there's still no word if this is something that could be backed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other legislative officials.

A positive is that the powerful teachers' union's influence in Albany is very significant, and spokesman Matt Hamilton said last month it is "advocating for legislation that would offer school districts the option of providing an early retirement incentive so longer serving school employees can choose whether to retire without penalty."

"This sort of option could present longer-term savings for school districts while also opening up positions for young education professionals to enter the workforce," he said, adding, "Our conversations with lawmakers continue.”

It's unclear if the proposed bill will be passed before the Legislature leaves Albany for the remainder of the year. As we hear more information, we'll update this story.

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