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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. Read More

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. Read More

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. Read More

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. Read More

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. Read More

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. Read More

New York’s state government pension costs will be nearly $1.6 billion above previously projected levels over the next four years, according the Mid-Year Financial Plan Update that was finally issued today—11 days behind schedule, and nearly a week after Election Day—by Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Division of the Budget (DOB). Read More

Calling it an "oppressive unfunded mandate" that would impose $57 million in "near term obligations" on local governments across New York State, Governor Cuomo has vetoed a bill that would have allowed public employees to claim up to three years worth of pension service credit for time spent in peacetime military duty. Read More

Who could be against “smart schools”? The unsurprising answer: not nearly enough New Yorkers to defeat Proposal 3 on yesterday’s statewide ballot, which authorizes $2 billion in state borrowing to finance local school district purchases of computers and other classroom technology; expand schools’ high-speed and wireless Internet capacity; install “high-tech security features”; and build new classrooms for pre-kindergarten programs. Read More

Governor Andrew Cuomo, who frequently cites his success in producing “on-time budgets,” is once again behind schedule in releasing the statutorily required Mid-Year Update to the New York State’s financial plan. The Mid-Year Update for fiscal 2014-15 was due Oct. 30, last Thursday, under Section 23.4 of the State Finance Law.* As of Election Day morning, no update had appeared on the website of the governor’s Division of the Budget (DOB). Read More

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