If not fracking, what? by E.J. McMahon | | NYTorch

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Governor Andrew Cuomo's decision to ban high-volume hydraulic fracturing in New York State is a huge blow to the fragile and declining economy of the Southern Tier. The eight-county region bordering Pennsylvania, including the Binghamton and Elmira m...

When Albany plays venture capitalist by Kenneth Girardin | | NYTorch

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Governor Andrew Cuomo last week announced a new "Innovation Venture Capital Fund" to invest up to $50 million in public funds into start-up companies. Meanwhile, the state’s existing venture fund, known as Innovate NY, is the subject of a federal audit focused on a firm whose managing director was named by Cuomo to his 2010 gubernatorial transition team and to a regional economic development council.

Thruway budget plot thickens by E.J. McMahon | | NYTorch

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Two days after the Empire Center highlighted looming deficits in the state Thruway Authority budget, the authority's board has put off the meeting at which it was expected to adopt a final budget for 2015.

Toll hikes baked into Thruway budget by E.J. McMahon | | NYTorch

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The New York State Thruway Authority could need to raise tolls by nearly 5 percent to balance its financial plan next year—on the way to a 44 percent toll increase by 2018, according to the “toll revenue target” in the authority’s proposed 2015 budget.

Pension bills hit Cuomo’s desk by E.J. McMahon | | NYTorch

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Nearly six months after being passed by the state Legislature, two bills with significant implications for public pension benefit levels and costs in New York finally have been sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo for his veto or signature.

Union ends day-care fee grab by Kenneth Girardin | | NYTorch

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New York’s largest state and local government employee union is ending its unconstitutional collection of mandatory agency fees from day care providers who receive subsidies from the state, according to a letter the union has sent to providers.

Obama hands NY a Medicaid bomb by E.J. McMahon | | NYTorch

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With the stroke of a pen, President Barack Obama has just put added pressure on the second-biggest category of New York’s state operating funds budget—Medicaid.

Obama’s recent executive order on immigration could drive up New York’s Medicaid costs by $1.1 billion to $2 billion, state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos warned in a letter yesterday to the state’s U.S. senators.
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