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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has agreed to a seven-year contract that will give MTA cops base pay increases totaling 18 percent, including a 7.5 percent retroactive boost effective immediately, the Daily News reports. Union members also scored a boost in their longevity pay, which will rise to a maximum of $9,800, in exchange for agreeing to curb overtime, stretch-out the schedule of annual pay hikes for newly hired officers and make new recruits pay 2 percent of their salaries toward health insurance. Read More

New York’s imminent fall from third to fourth most populous state can be attributed mainly to its heavy loss of residents to the rest of the country—a trend persisting in this decade, according to Census Bureau data released today. Read More

The last update to New York State’s financial plan, issued in early November, projected state operating funds budget gaps as far as the eye could see. Nothing new there: out-year projected shortfalls have been a feature of state budgets in New York since the current accounting system was enacted 30 years ago, and Governor Cuomo could accurately argue the gaps have gotten smaller on his watch. Read More

Rising debts and liabilities for pensions and retiree health care could soon translate into higher borrowing costs for at least nine New York local governments, including a half dozen of the largest counties and towns in the state. They’re facing possible bond rating downgrades as part of a nationwide review of local ratings by Moody’s Investors Service. Read More

Public subsidies of sports arenas, stadiums and ballparks “cannot be justified on the grounds of local economic development, income growth or job creation, those arguments most frequently used by subsidy advocates.” Read More

A full year after the official start of construction on a replacement for the Tappan Zee Bridge, Governor Cuomo still isn’t leveling with New Yorkers on how he will pay for the $4 billion project, Nicole Gelinas and I write in a New York Post op-ed today. Read More

When Gov. Cuomo won passage of what he described as a “historic” and “transformational” budget early in his tenure, one of the key details he touted was the enactment of a permanent state law capping annual increases in school aid to the rate of growth in personal income. Read More

New York’s monthly employment data continue to show a striking regional divergence in job-creation trends. According to today’s Labor Department report, as of November, year-to-year statewide private sector employment growth in New York slightly trailed the national average — with the economic weakness concentrated in upstate New York. Read More