New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio made a splash this morning by announcing a plan "to guarantee health care" for every city resident. Although his office called it "the largest, most comprehensive plan in the nation," the proposal appears – based on limited details provided so far – to be a relatively modest expansion of existing safety-net programs.
The New York City Council's vote of support on Tuesday for a statewide single-payer health plan showed curious timing from a fiscal point of view. Two weeks before, sponsors of the New York Health Act told union officials that they were changing the bill in ways that could cost the city billions of dollars per year. Details of these high-stakes changes won't be available until next month, yet Council members chose to back the measure anyway – effectively endorsing a blank check.
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.
New city payroll data the Empire Center for Public Policy compiled shows the city’s total pay to school workers increased to $10.73 billion for the 2016-17 school year. That’s up from $10.18 billion the year before.
Nearly two-thirds (264) of the 420 firefighters and fire officers who retired from the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) during 2016 are eligible to collect pensions of at least $100,000, according to data posted today on SeeThroughNY, the Empire Center’s transparency website.
OT made up 10 to 23 percent of the payroll of many city agencies, according to an analysis by the Empire Center for Public Policy, a government watchdog.
Wednesday, Mayor de Blasio presented a fiscal 2018 Executive Budget that called for pension contributions totaling $9.6 billion — another all-time high. Yet city pension plans remain significantly underfunded even by lenient government accounting standards, posing a big risk to New York’s fiscal future.
The city of New York has been ordered to pay the legal costs and fees to the Empire Center for Public Policy in connection with the Center’s successful effort to obtain city payroll data under the state Freedom of Information Law (FOIL).