Last week we slammed the new state budget as an exercise in financial recklessness. But the bad news is still rolling in.
Over the weekend, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York's Legislatureagreed on a $168.3 billion budget for the 2019 fiscal year. Before Albany moves on to the next thing - which could be nothing in an election year - let's revisit what it just did and what it means.
Count New York’s government-employee unions among the biggest winners of this year’s budget battle — with taxpayers as the big losers.
In the dead of night, the Legislature adopted language that aims to protect public unions’ political power from a likely US Supreme Court ruling.
The Empire Center, a government watchdog group in Albany, calls it the “biggest, murkiest, pork-barrel slush fund Albany (and perhaps any state capital) has ever seen.”
The allocation is slipped into the state budget without any explanation from legislative leaders and the governor.
State residents who pay close attention to how Albany operates should be familiar by now with the names of the elected officials who decide how their money gets spent. But if they really want to understand, they should get to know SAM.
Hey, Big Labor, Albany’s got your back.
A provision tucked into the state budget gives public-employee unions the right to deny many services, such as free legal help, to covered employees who opt not to join or pay dues.
New York lawmakers are desperate for a pay hike. Fair enough — but only if it’s paired with major ethics reform.
This winter, New York has had two major construction scandals. In March, Related, the giant real estate firm building out much of the Hudson Yards office and apartment site on Manhattan’s West Side, sued construction unions, alleging that they inflated costs by more than $100 million, including fooling Related into paying up to $70 an hour for someone who fetches coffee.