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Governor Cuomo’s proposed two percent cap on interest arbitration awards to police and firefighters unions was stripped from the final Article 7 budget bill dealing with Education, Labor and Family Assistance issues. At the same time, the Senate and Assembly majorities were unable to get the governor to agree to their preference for a straight four-year extender of the arbitration law, which expires June 30. Read More

The left-of-center Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI) was absolutely wrong in pushing to raise New York’s minimum wage — but absolutely right about the problems with the state “minimum wage reimbursement credit.” Bad policy begets more bad policy (so, FPI guys, you ultimately have yourselves to blame!). Read More

Requiring timely payment in full of every employer’s actuarially determined annual required contribution is among the hallmarks of pension fund probity, in both the public and private sectors. Unlike many of its counterparts in other states, the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System (NYSTRS) has always lived up to that high standard. Until now. Read More

The final version of the Public Protection and General Government budget bill contains a new provision, originating in the legislative version of the proposal, that will allow the education commissioner to waive the $30,000 public employment earnings limitation for any retired police officer employed as a “school resource officer.” Read More

So, in the end, the state’s pension guardian caved, after all. To his credit, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli did not embrace Governor Cuomo’s dubious proposal to allow localities to massively underpay pension contributions to the New York State and Local Retirement System... Read More

Rejecting almost every cost-sharing proposal suggested by the management side, a state arbitration panel has awarded a two-year, 6.6 percent increase in base salaries to members of the police officers union in the Village of Rockville Centre in Nassau County... Read More

Details aren’t yet settled, but news reports this morning quote Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos as saying the 2013-14 state budget will include $700 million in tax cuts. Other reports and rumors suggest a somewhat smaller amount. Read More

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

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