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Governor Andrew Cuomo has little hope of closing the state’s projected budget gaps over the next few years if he doesn’t continue to clamp a tight lid on state operations costs — and to that end, he’s pushing for the closure and consolidation of more state prisons and institutions for the mentally ill and developmentally disabled. Read More

Thanks to a last-minute bill language tweak sought by police and firefighter unions, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s watered-down “reform” of New York’s compulsory arbitration law will not apply to a number of unsettled contracts that hadn’t even reached the arbitration stage before the law was extended just before the Legislature adjourned last month. Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) records now indicate that up to two dozen contract disputes may have been carved out of the new law (Ch. 67 of 2013), with the full impact ultimately depending on how many of these employers are considered fiscally distressed enough to otherwise qualify. Read More

New York spent 2.6 times the national per-mile average on state highways — but had some of the worst road conditions in the country in the most recent year for which comparable federal data have been analyzed in the Reason Foundation’s 20th Annual Report on the Performance of State Highway Systems. Read More

Former Governor Eliot Spitzer is making a last-minute bid to get on the Democratic primary ballot for New York City comptroller. But, writing in the Daily News, E.J. says Spitzer’s record as governor “raises serious questions of his suitability for this particular job.” Read More

As argued in previous posts on this blog, Cuomo actually squandered a golden opportunity to deliver much more meaningful reform of the 39-year-old, repeatedly renewed but still temporary statute that has done much to drive police and firefighter compensation through the roof in New York. Read More