What They Make 2018-19 | Reports

Local government is a labor-intensive business, and employee compensation is the single biggest element of most municipal budgets. The 2018-19 edition of What They Make, the Empire Center’s annual report on public payrolls, allows New York taxpayers to compare this key element of local government costs around the state.

Union ditches members—and rules by Ken Girardin | | NY Torch

One of New York’s largest public-sector unions is deliberately trying to shed some dues-paying members. The union in question wants to avoid transparency and accountability for how it spends dues money. And unless state lawmakers or federal regulators act, they’ll succeed.

Health price controls are failing by Bill Hammond | | NY Torch

State-regulated health premiums for 2020 are rising faster than the medical inflation rate for the sixth year in a row, yet the officials who signed off on the hikes insist they have saved consumers money – because average premiums are lower than what insurers originally requested. Positive spin notwithstanding, it's increasingly evident that the state's nine-year-old price-control regime, known as "prior approval," is failing as a strategy to keep health costs in check.

Cuomo signals a Medicaid crunch by Bill Hammond | | NY Torch

The Cuomo administration's quarterly budget update includes a warning for the state's health-care industry: Medicaid cuts could be coming. The report, released Tuesday, says officials are developing a plan to reduce Medicaid spending that could include "across-the-board rate reductions to health care providers and plans."

A June boon for NYC pension funds by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

New York City's five municipal public pension funds ended their 2019 fiscal year with an aggregate investment gain of 7.24 percent, slightly above their 7 percent assumed rate of return, according to a preliminary estimate by city comptroller's office.

NY’s dimming budget outlook by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

When New York's current state budget was enacted, Governor Andrew Cuomo hailed it as "the broadest  and most sweeping" of his tenure, adding that "for the ninth straight year it was both timely and fiscally responsible."

"Timely," yes: budget bills were passed by the Legislature just in time for the April 1 dawn of a new fiscal year.

As for "fiscally responsible"—well, that's more a matter of opinion.
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