Blog

Fifty-seven of New York’s 62 counties lost more residents to other parts of the state or the nation than they gained between 2010 and 2012, according to newly released U.S. Census estimates. Eleven of those counties might be described as demographically dying Read More

The state Senate’s one-house budget puts its own twist on Governor Cuomo’s dubious pension “smoothing” plan. The Senate version would give the state, as well as localities and school districts, the option of significantly under-paying pension contributions over the next few years... Read More

Governor Cuomo’s proposal to cap arbitration awards for police and firefighters is not included in the Senate or Assembly budget bills. This may be blessing in disguise: as argued here, Cuomo’s original proposal didn’t go nearly far enough. Since the arbitration law expires on June 30, the governor remains in a commanding position to demand more. Read More

Based on their just-introduced one-house budget, Assembly Democrats don’t support Governor Cuomo’s proposal to eliminate all required reports by local governments and school districts to state agencies. From a transparency and accountability standpoint, that’s good news for taxpayers and the general public, as explained here. Read More

Governor Cuomo today marked Sunshine Week by launching Open New York, a really cool portal for finding government data online -- without having to file a Freedom of Information Law request. The site launched with 267 data sets populating it. That's a respectable number, but a fraction of what could eventually be on the site. Read More

Yesterday brought a march on Albany by something called the “Educate NY Now campaign,” in which the union-backed Alliance for Quality Education (AQE) figures prominently. The demonstration served to bring attention to AQE’slatest statistical hobby horse — an “opportunity gap” created by the $8,601 difference in per-pupil spending among the wealthiest and poorest schooldistricts in New York. Read More

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli is out today with a new report on New York State’s public authorities. He counts 1,169 of them, including 324 on the state level, 837 local authorities and eight “Interstate/International.” Read More

Senate Republicans today unveiled some new proposed personal income tax (PIT) adjustments that would generate savings for middle-class families.* For a couple with income of $70,000 and two children under 17, the potential annual tax cut from the proposed Family Tax Relief Act would appear to come to roughly $700... Read More

In line with New York’s motto — “Excelsior” — the state assumes its tax receipts are headed ever upward. Late last week, Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders announced they had agreed to a consensus forecast adding $200 million to the combined receipts... Read More