Regents flunk finance (again) by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

Budget deficit? What budget deficit?

With today’s pending recommendation from the Board of Regents, New York's education establishment is united in proposing that state aid to America's best-funded preK-12 public school system be increased next year by at least $2 billion. The figure is nearly double the amount projected in Governor Cuomo's financial plan—which showed the state is running deeply in the red and facing its largest budget shortfall since the Great Recession.

Grid fails under pressure by Ken Girardin | | NY Torch

In buckling under pressure and threats from Governor Andrew Cuomo, National Grid has firmed up a troubling new normal of regulatory policy in New York State.

Compare your property taxes | Press Releases, Reports

Residents of the Mid-Hudson village of Liberty had the highest effective property tax rate in New York (outside New York City and Nassau) during fiscal year 2019, according to the newest edition of Benchmarking NY, the Empire Center’s annual examination of local property taxes.

Albany, we have a problem by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

Thanks to Medicaid over-spending, New York’s state budget gaps have blown up to their highest levels since the Great Recession.

NY’s unregulated regulator by Ken Girardin | | NY Torch

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s regulatory attack on National Grid’s Long Island gas moratorium threatens to have broader negative financial effects on all of the state’s investor-owned utilities—with implications for the overall business climate as well.

Parsing the MTA Police push by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

To fight crime and fare evasion in New York City subways, the state Metropolitan Transportation Authority plans to hire 500 more officers for its police department—an unprecedented expansion of what's already one of the largest police forces based in New York State.

As of 2018, the MTA Police employed a total of 773 officers, including new hires and officers who retired or otherwise left the payroll during the year, according to records posted at SeeThroughNY, the Empire Center's transparency website.  MTA Police pay averaged $131,959, including average overtime of $34,936.  The number of MTA Police officers was the highest in at least six years; in 2013, there 99 fewer total officers employed by the department.

The secret behind the secrecy by Ken Girardin | | NY Torch

Why are contract negotiations between public officials and public employee unions routinely conducted behind closed doors? One of New York’s largest public-sector unions has spilled the beans: it’s better for them.

Upstate income sluggish in 2018 by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

Newly released federal data on personal income growth last year point to the continued economic weakness of upstate New York.

Measured in current dollars, unadjusted for inflation, personal income nationally increased 5.6 percent from 2017 to 2018, according to the Bureau of Economic Affairs (BEA).

Cuomo blows a natural gasket by Ken Girardin | | NY Torch

Governor Andrew Cuomo is threatening to yank the license of a major downstate natural gas supplier—because he doesn’t like how the company responded to his refusal to permit a new supply pipeline.
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