PLA’s loss is taxpayers’ win by Kenneth Girardin | | NYTorch

The Kingston school board struck a blow for local taxpayers last month when it voted against requiring a project labor agreement (PLA) on a school renovation project. While local union leaders slammed the move as “fiscally irresponsible,” the board’s 5-4 vote was a big win for taxpayers and sets an example for other communities facing a similar choice.

More New Yorkers moving away by E.J. McMahon | | NYTorch

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With the economy improving, New York’s “domestic migration” loss has jumped back to pre-recession levels—pushing the Empire State to fourth place, behind Florida, in national population rankings.

Thruway still assumes toll hikes by E.J. McMahon | | NYTorch

The 2015 budget adopted today by the board of the state Thruway Authority was slightly revised from the proposed version but continues to assume rising tolls through 2018.

Cuomo blocks pension changes by E.J. McMahon | | NYTorch

A bill expanding the share of New York public pension funds that can be invested in complex, high-risk alternative assets such as private equity and hedge funds has been vetoed by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

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

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.

NY tax burden near top, again by Kenneth Girardin | | NYTorch

Lifting the Tax Burden
New York continued to impose one of nation's highest state and local tax burdens relative to income during fiscal 2012, according to data released today by the US Census Bureau.

When Albany plays venture capitalist by Kenneth Girardin | | NYTorch

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

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.