Work from Ken Girardin

Cuomo reins in some pork by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed budget makes important changes to several secretive slush funds first brought to light by the Empire Center. [Read_more]

Governor signs FOIL fix by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill that marks the most substantial improvement to the Freedom of Information Law in years, limiting the amount of time that public entities can stall a FOIL request after a judge has ordered the release of public records. [Read_more]

START-UP NY stalls by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

The latest progress report from START-UP NY shows it’s losing participants almost as quickly as it’s adding them. [Read_more]

Teachout’s overruled tax cap claim by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

New York’s local property tax cap has become an issue in a hotly contested Hudson Valley congressional race, where a specious anti-cap argument rejected by state courts has been revived by the Democratic candidate, Zephyr Teachout. [Read_more]

Buffalo’s murky teacher pact by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

Some of New York’s worst tendencies in bargaining with government unions were on display yesterday in Buffalo—even before the school board illegally took things behind closed doors. [Read_more]

“Czar” exiles energy facts by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s energy czar isn’t letting facts get in the way of attacking the growing number of dissenters who challenge Cuomo’s new Clean Energy Standard. [Read_more]

Your coming NYS electric-bill hit by Ken Girardin |  | New York Post

In what amounts to an unlegislated state tax hike, New York's already-high electricity rates are poised to go even higher. That’s because, essentially at Gov. Cuomo’s order, the state Public Service Commission will require electric utilities to both subsidize money-losing upstate nuclear plants and buy power from “renewable” energy sources, mainly solar and wind-generated. [Read_more]

Green Overload by Ken Girardin and Annette Brocks |  | Reports

New York's new Clean Energy Standard has three major shortcomings: high cost, questionable feasibility and low impact. [Read_more]

Has START-UP NY peaked? by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

START-UP NY, New York’s signature economic development program, made headlines for creating just 408 jobs in its first two years of operations. However, bigger disappointments may lie ahead. [Read_more]

Pols aim for design-build by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

Some of New York State’s major transportation infrastructure projects are now benefiting from expanded use of the design-build process—but a costly pro-union rider has been attached to proposed legislation extending design-build authorization to public works financed by New York City, and could set a troubling precedent. [Read_more]

Will Albany bust the cap? by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

With just three work days remaining in the legislative session, a number of bills that would loosen the property-tax cap await consideration in both houses. The pending legislative efforts range from small modifications to the cap formula to allow more spending without triggering the cap’s supermajority requirement, to doing away with the supermajority requirement altogether. [Read_more]

The smudgy green in biodiesel by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

The state Senate is considering a measure to force New Yorkers to buy heating oil blended with biodiesel—but it’s not the kind of environmentally friendly, “green” policy its supporters would have you believe. [Read_more]

The tax cap works, again by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

Twenty-nine of the 37 districts that sought to override the property tax cap were successful in yesterday’s school budget votes, as the majority of districts elected to limit their tax increases to the cap itself. [Read_more]

Board set to release SolarCity cash by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

A state oversight board this week is set to green-light a $486 million payment to the SUNY Polytechnic real estate subsidiary that is at the heart of the federal probe into Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion initiative. [Read_more]

Supremes could hammer NY unions by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments today in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, and the stakes couldn’t be higher for New York’s politically powerful public-sector unions. [Read_more]

How NY wastes millions on state construction by Ken Girardin |  | New York Post

Gov. Cuomo’s 2017 state budget, which he’ll present next week, is likely to call for billions of dollars in new spending on highways and bridges.

Unfortunately, taxpayers won’t get their money’s worth if the state continues to insist on rigging bids for public-works projects that all but guarantee the jobs will go to unions. [Read_more]

Highway project highlights waste by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

Governor Cuomo last week announced the completion of a construction project in Orange County, four years after the state Department of Transportation (DOT) deliberately added at least $4 million to the cost by improperly steering jobs to Hudson Valley unions—and cost taxpayers up to $22 million for the way it did it. [Read_more]

State-backed batteries out of juice by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

One of New York State's highly touted high-tech "investments" just shorted out.

General Electric announced today it is pulling the plug on its Durathon battery project, which is manufactured by a Schenectady-based subsidiary, GEMx Technologies. The project, which for a time employed more than 350 people, was awarded $12.5 million in "JOBS Now" capital funding from the state Empire State Development Corp. in 2013. [Read_more]

EPA’s double standard at work in NY by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

If a huge private corporation with billions of dollars in revenues at its disposal was caught discharging a “probable human carcinogen” into a rural upstate New York creek, it would immediately be branded in some circles as environmental public enemy number-one.

But the federal government’s own Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is quite deliberately doing exactly the same thing—on purpose—in the Rensselaer County town of Nassau. [Read_more]

A glimpse into slush guidelines by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

New York State’s $1 billion capital project slush fund is dispensing borrowed money across the state outside public scrutiny, but two local governments have inadvertently given New Yorkers a glimpse of its inner workings. [Read_more]

Inside Albany’s secretive slush fund by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

The Cuomo administration and the state Legislature have begun dishing out grants from a secretive $1.1 billion capital slush fund—all of which will be borrowed money—with no disclosure of project sponsorship or award criteria. [Read_more]

Another way to drill for gas in New York by Ken Girardin |  | New York Post

There’s more than one way to frack a shale formation, and that could be very good news for New York’s economically stagnant Southern Tier — if, this time, Gov. Cuomo allows it. [Read_more]