Busting the cap by Bill Hammond | | Reports

The budget crisis in New York’s Medicaid program stems from the failure of a key cost-control measure adopted during Governor Cuomo’s first term. In 2011, Cuomo and the Legislature imposed a “global cap” on state Medicaid spending that was tied to the medical inflation rate. The measure showed signs of working at first, but lost its effectiveness as circumstances changed, loopholes multiplied and compliance faltered.

Big bucks, no impact by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

The billions of dollars funneled from New York's treasury to movie and TV producers had no statistically significant impact on the industry's employment in the Empire State through 2017, according to a new multi-state study of such tax incentives.

SALT suit swept aside by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

In what could rank among the least surprising federal court rulings of this or any year, a U.S. District Court judge in Manhattan has rejected New York's constitutional challenge to the state and local tax (SALT) deduction cap in the new federal tax law.

State agencies recruiting for unions by Ken Girardin | | NY Torch

A few months before the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2018 landmark decision in Janus vs AFSCME, Governor Cuomo promised government unions the state would “do everything in its power” to “protect” them from potentially adverse consequences.

Flouting the clear intent of the court—and state law—Cuomo is keeping that promise.

A flawed Fed wage analysis by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

Economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York have issued an analysis suggesting that New York's minimum wage increases from 2013 to 2018 had little impact on employment in counties bordering on Pennsylvania.

The Fed's economists compared employment in two low-wage sectors in the 19 contiguous border counties of New York and Pennsylvania—implicitly assuming that the counties as a group must be comparable because they are next to one another.

NYHA’s revenue roller coaster by Bill Hammond | | NY Torch

A little-discussed hazard of creating a state-run single-payer health plan in New York would be its vulnerability to the business cycle. It would depend heavily on taxes collected from high-income New Yorkers, a source of revenue that's especially prone to booms and busts. A recession – or a downturn in the stock market – could easily open a budget hole not just in the billions of dollars, but in the tens of billions of dollars.

Trucking NY’s natural gas gap by Ken Girardin | | NY Torch

Yesterday’s fatal truck accident outside Binghamton is a reminder that state government’s opposition to natural gas pipelines is having negative consequences⁠—including putting more gas trucks on the road.

Albany’s probable PLA push by Ken Girardin | | NY Torch

Following the Cuomo administration’s lead, at least two financially stressed local governments in the North Country have gone out of their way to steer expensive public works contracts to construction unions—despite higher costs.

Commercial Cash by Peter Murphy | | Reports

School districts across New York are constrained from fully exploiting a potential source of revenue to help offset pressure on local taxes. The revenue source in question is commercial advertising—including signs, sponsorships and facility naming rights, especially for athletic facilities.
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