Faced with a potential 26 percent hike in its tax levy, the Town of Woodstock is weighing a plan to require some retired employees to pick up a bigger share of their health insurance. Promise now, pay later. That's the approach local governments, school districts and the State of New York itself have taken... Read More

Harrison town officials are pirouetting after a police officer asked the town to pay $2,845 for him to take a dance course at a private college. It appears that the police union contract--previously approved by town officials--requires the town... Read More

Three Nassau County police officers just retired with severance packages exceeding $632,000--each. In New Jersey where the New Brunswick police chief accumulated $376,234 in unused sick time, the Legislature is considering $15,000 cap. As the Trenton Times writes... Read More

At today's Bloomberg LINK Cities & Debt Briefing in TriBeCa, Arizona Treasurer Dean Martin moments ago offered a different perspective on why public-pension funds should perhaps ease up on trying to achieve 7-8 percent annual returns. Leaving aside the drier academic argument over whether 7-8 annual return targets are unrealistic... Read More

Yesterday, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell threw the debt-laden capital city of Harrisburg a lifeline -- but the lifeline is made of razor wire. To help Harrisburg avoid a default on a general-obligation debt payment this week, Rendell will advance... Read More

At least 27,000 individuals, including ex-spouses of government workers, carried NYSHIP cards in their wallets--although they did not qualify for taxpayer-financed health insurance. That number will grow this fall if government employees fail to verify... Read More

New York's state highway system continues to rank near the bottom among all states in terms of performance and cost-effectiveness, as measured by the indicators in the Reason Foundation's 19th Annual Highway Condition Report. Here's a chart of my own... Read More

Three employees of the Hudson River-Black River Regulating District were laid off in May, only to be rehired in June, so they could take advantage of the state's early retirement program. In addition, the district's board offered retirement incentives to... Read More

It's official: after a decade in which the New York State pension fund's annual return on assets averaged less than half its target rate, the fund will need to jack up its taxpayer-funded contribution rates next year, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli announced today. Read More

In 2008, Barrett was paid a total of $1,500 to speak at two separate events in West Virginia, the money coming from federal grants. He was paid a total of $2,850 by the Schenectady school system for four appearances, while also collecting... Read More

Last month, the state-run MTA said that it might raise the price of a 30-day subway and bus pass from today's $89 to $104 -- a pretty hefty 17 percent increase. That's still the case in the MTA's latest on-line literature about fare hearings, too. Read More

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