“The question now isn’t whether previous state and local budget assumptions have been demolished — only by how much and for how long,” writes E.J. McMahon, research director at the Empire Center for Public Policy and a Manhattan Institute adjunct fellow.
“They have to make decisions now. Every moment they waste is going to make the problem worse and that is going to cost jobs in the future,” said E.J. McMahon, research director at the Empire Center, an Albany think tank. “They don’t gain anything by stalling.”
For insight on the state of the economy and what New York City and state should do address the worsening economic situation, City & State turned to four experts on the matter: New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, Citizens Budget Commission President Andrew Rein, and E.J. McMahon, founder and research director for the Empire Center for Public Policy. The responses have been edited for length and clarity.
At the state level, researchers at the Empire Center found that New York’s prevailing wage requirements inflate construction costs by up to 25 percent. Suspending Davis-Bacon would enable state and local governments to save billions of dollars on construction costs. States could return the savings to taxpayers in the form of tax relief, increase the solvency of their underfunded pension systems for teachers, or use the savings to complete additional needed infrastructure construction.
With much of New York’s economy shut down and millions of taxpayers likely to depend on federal “emergency support” payments to make it through, an immediate pay freeze for all state and local government employees is a must.
The latest data released by the U.S. Census Bureau put New York State’s population at an estimated 19.5 million, the fourth-largest state in the country.
The loss of global manufacturing giant Panasonic Corp. from Buffalo's RiverBend solar panel factory saw government officials reacting with different messages on Wednesday, a day after the Japanese company said it will abandon its local presence and cut hundreds of jobs at the sprawling, state-owned facility.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo accused the federal government Monday of playing politics with New Yorkers' health care after the state was told it would no longer receive federal funds for community-based health services.