Work from Ken Girardin

DiNapoli blocks the union exit by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

State officials are still working overtime to shield government unions from the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME. This week, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office has issued new guidelines effectively giving the unions the first say on efforts by employees to opt out of union dues payments. [Read_more]

NY’s (mis)leading union tactic by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

Desperate to minimize a potential loss of dues under a recent Supreme Court ruling, one of New York State’s largest public employee unions is telling public employers to disregard the union’s own previously stated conditions for letting workers stop paying dues.

The tactic employed by the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) in response to the Janus v. AFSCME decision will put local governments in a bind—which is likely to end up generating added legal bills for taxpayers. [Read_more]

Cuomo’s cable hit by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

This is only the latest instance in which politics seem to be taking precedence over public interest at a consumer-focused regulatory agency. [Read_more]

Cuomo’s bad Janus advice by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

Governor Andrew Cuomo hit a new extreme in his bid to prop up government unions, telling public employers to ignore parts of both state law and the Supreme Court ruling in Janus v. AFSCME. [Read_more]

Wind costs will blow north by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

Upstate New York ratepayers will pick up more than half the multi-billion-dollar tab for a massive offshore wind turbine project that will provide very costly power for Long Island and New York City. [Read_more]

How NY will thwart Janus rights by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

A senior member of the state Assembly is already promising to introduce legislation that would effectively use taxpayer money to reimburse government unions for the “agency fees” they are no longer allowed to collect under last week’s SCOTUS decision in Janus v. AFSCME. [Read_more]

The Janus Ultimatum by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

As of yesterday, New York’s government employers can no longer deduct dues-like “agency fees” from government employees who haven’t joined a union, even if the union involved has a contract requiring them. [Read_more]

Bill puts sick kids second by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

A private charity is seeking the New York Legislature’s go-ahead to build housing for critically ill kids and their families on state-owned property.

The Legislature’s answer: sure, you can go ahead and build—if you’re willing to pay extra (possibly a lot extra) to our union friends to do the work. [Read_more]

More bad ideas lurking by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

On the whole, New Yorkers can breathe a sigh of relief if the state Senate’s gridlock forces an early end to the 2018 regular session of the Legislature. Otherwise, the next two weeks will still leave plenty of time for lawmakers to get up to no good. [Read_more]

Watch your wallet until the Legislature goes home by Ken Girardin |  | New York Post

As a 19th-century Manhattan politician once observed, “no man’s life, liberty or property are safe while the Legislature is in session.” Some things never change. On balance, New Yorkers would probably be better off if this year’s legislative session ended ahead of its scheduled June 21 adjournment. [Read_more]

Cuomo’s secret SUNY deal by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

Earlier this year, Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed a new disclosure standard requiring that details of proposed government union contracts be shared with the public before ratification.

Unfortunately—and not for the first time—the governor has failed to meet the standard himself. [Read_more]

Tax cap wreaks chaos—not by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

In the wake of Tuesday’s school budget votes, 16 school districts around New York must decide whether to call for a second referendum after seeing their original proposals rejected. [Read_more]

Governor’s Next Giveaway to NY’s Public Unions? by Ken Girardin |  | New York Post

When Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently signed a bill making it harder for government workers to escape labor unions, he said it was just “the first step of the resistance.”

Translation: It wasn’t the last favor Cuomo hopes to do for New York’s powerful public-sector unions in anticipation of the coming US Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME, which could void state laws compelling government workers to pay dues-like agency fees to unions they choose not to join. [Read_more]

Cuomo’s next union giveaway by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

When Governor Andrew Cuomo recently signed a bill making it harder for government workers to extricate themselves from labor unions, he said it was just “the first step of the resistance.” So, what will New York’s governor and lawmakers seek to do next for their public-sector union friends? [Read_more]

Unions top lobbying list by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

New York's government unions collectively spent more on lobbying last year than the state's biggest trial lawyers, landlord, tobacco and hospital interests combined. And topping the list, as usual, was New York’s powerful conglomerate of public education unions. [Read_more]

The budget’s big gift to unions by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

Buried in the state budget bills rushing towards passage under cover of Passover, Good Friday evening and the coming Easter holiday is the top item on the New York government unions’ wish list—a provision designed to trap public employees into paying union dues. [Read_more]

The return of Hotel California by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

For a second consecutive year, the state Assembly is poised to pass a union-backed bill that would make it harder for New York government employees to opt out of union membership. This time, at least, it may be debated first. [Read_more]

Senate seeks costly “discussion” by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

The state Senate’s ruling majority coalition hopes state budget talks will include a “discussion about whether the definition of public work should be updated”—shorthand for whether costly union compensation packages should be imposed on a much larger number of projects subsidized directly or indirectly by taxpayers. [Read_more]

More green, less energy by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

Governor Andrew Cuomo has married his unrealistic renewable energy targets to his push to steer work to the building trades unions. The likely results: even higher costs—and even fewer projects. [Read_more]

Janus case high stakes for public employee unions by Ken Girardin |  | Albany Times Union

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Monday in Janus v. AFSCME, a constitutional challenge to the dues-like union fees many state and local government workers must now pay. The outcome could shake the foundations of public-sector union power across the nation—especially in New York. [Read_more]

NY’s latest power play by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

Renewable energy companies aren’t building the windmills and solar panels Governor Andrew Cuomo hoped for when he pledged in 2015 to have 50 percent of the state’s electricity come from renewables by 2030. Cuomo’s latest solution? The state will build them itself. [Read_more]

Senate set to OK union trap law by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

A bill designed to make it harder for New York government workers to extricate themselves from labor union membership rolls is poised to move out of a key Senate committee next week. [Read_more]

The Janus Stakes by Ken Girardin |  | Reports

This report provides an overview of the current landscape of union representation, finances, lobbying and political activity in New York State. It concludes with recommendations designed to strengthen the rights of government workers and the oversight of union nances that are ultimately derived from taxpayer-funded salaries. [Read_more]

Hempstead’s lame-duck job freeze by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

The lame-duck supervisor of Hempstead, New York’s largest town, has inked the most indefensible no-layoff deal in Long Island’s history of open-handed labor relations—guaranteeing union jobs while asking for nothing in return. [Read_more]

50 by…whenever by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

For a second consecutive year, the state Public Service Commission (PSC) has deeply slashed the amount of renewable energy that utility companies are forced to buy under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Clean Energy Standard (CES). The move casts further doubt on the governor’s goal of having renewables supply 50 percent of the state’s electricity by 2030—while reinforcing the CES program’s status as primarily a bailout for money-losing upstate nuclear plants. [Read_more]

Court will hear fee challenge by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case with potentially major implications for New York’s government employee unions—and, ultimately, taxpayers. [Read_more]
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