Spending Still Rising In State Budget by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

State funds spending would rise at twice the inflation rate under Governor Pataki's proposed 2005-06 Executive Budget. And despite much-ballyhooed "cuts," state-funded Medicaid costs next year would increase nearly 13 percent.

City Spending Accelerates by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

City-funded spending would increase almost 10 percent under New York's newly adopted budget for fiscal 2005. The budget's financing structure, which relies heavily on prior-year surplus and one-shot revenues, sets the stage for a looming shortfall in fiscal 2006.

No Strings Attached? Ensuring that “CFE” Funds are Spent Effectively | Reports

The 2003 New York State Court of Appeals ruling in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity case has created a historic opportunity to reform New York City’s troubled schools. This opening was created because the court not only required changing the state aid formula to ensure a “sound basic education” for all New York City pupils, it also ordered that city schools be accountable for actually producing results.

The Legislature’s Spurious Budget Reform by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

A “budget reform” measure partially approved by the New York State Senate and Assembly is little more than a constitutional power grab by the Legislature and a prescription for higher spending.

The Cloud Behind the Silver Lining by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

The projected "out-year" gap in Mayor Bloomberg's proposed 2005 budget is the largest on record, leaving New York's finances extremely vulnerable to external shocks in the year ahead. City spending is now growing at an unsustainable pace; as a result, barring another boom on the late 1990s scale, Bloomberg could feel increasingly pressed to reduce spending as he approaches the next mayoral election.

NY State Government: Growing Beyond Its Means by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

New York State spending has outpaced inflation even as tax receipts plummeted since 2001. The state budget is on track to continue growing at twice the inflation rate over next several years—resulting in large projected future budget gaps, and raising the specter of expanded tax hikes."

CSEA Contract Will Cost Taxpayers Plenty by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

A tentative contract agreement between Governor George Pataki and New York’s largest union of state government workers would permanently add billions of dollars to New York State and New York City budgets, if it is ratified by union membership and ends up setting a pattern for the state’s other collective bargaining units.

The High Cost of Educational “Adequacy” by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

New York State needs to spend $7 billion more to finance a “sound, basic education” for all pupils, according to the group that successfully sued to overturn the state’s education finance system. What kind of tax hike would it take to pay for such a draconian solution? This memo explores the range of possible answers to that question.

Private Competition for Public Services: Unfinished Agenda in New York State | Reports

The benefits of opening public services to private competition—in terms of cost savings and quality—are potentially enormous, as George Pataki recognized when he first took office as Governor nearly a decade ago. Despite Governor Pataki’s early advocacy, however, competitive contracting has not taken root as the preferred approach to providing public services in New York. Given the dimensions of the state’s current fiscal crisis, there’s never been a better time for the Governor to pursue his original agenda by allowing private providers to challenge New York’s entrenched public-sector monopolies.

Defusing the Pension Bomb: How to Curb Public Retirement Costs in New York State | Reports

Skyrocketing state and local employee pension costs have been a major factor in the fiscal crisis affecting every level of government in New York State. Taxpayer financed public pension contributions have soared by more than $2.3 billion dollars over the past two years—and are projected to rise even more in 2004. In New York City alone, the rise in pension costs will consume every dollar raised by Mayor Bloomberg’s record property tax increase.