First take on the Trump tax plan by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

From a New York perspective, the proposed repeal of itemized deductions for state and local tax payments was the (expected) headline item in the rough outline of a tax reform presented in Washington today by Trump administration officials.

A free hand on healthcare capital by Bill Hammond | | NY Torch

The new state budget’s allocation of $500 million in capital funding for healthcare providers – the fifth such infusion in four years – comes with a notable lack of procedural controls or clarity of purpose.

Cuomo’s thought-free tuition offer by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

Governor Andrew Cuomo's "free" tuition plan bore all the earmarks of having been hastily reverse-engineered from a campaign slogan—a Bernie Sanders presidential campaign slogan, that is. Indeed, the governor didn't try hard to dispel that impression, inviting the Vermont senator himself to deliver a endorsement of the plan when it was first rolled out at a Queens College rally on Jan. 3.

Budget pluses and minuses by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

The positives in New York's FY2018 budget make up a pretty short list—while the negatives are in some respects worse than usual. A quick and superficial initial rundown follows.

NY’s new tax break—for a few by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

Out of the clear blue sky, a provision making labor union dues fully deductible for state personal income tax purposes was inserted in New York's final fiscal 2018 budget deal, which was enacted by the Legislature over the weekend.

Oink yet again by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

The tentative state budget deal would pour another $385 million into the biggest, murkiest pork-barrel slush fund New York has ever seen.

The latest version of the Capital Projects bill (A.3004D) would further fatten the State and Municipal Facilities Program (SMFP), building total funds available through the program to $1.64 billion.

More than just ‘extenders’ by Bill Hammond | | NY Torch

Although called “extenders,” the temporary budget bills that were speeding through the Legislature on Monday go beyond a simple continuation of the status quo, especially in the area of healthcare.

START-UP melts down by Ken Girardin | | NY Torch

START-UP NY lost almost as many new job commitments as it added during 2016, signaling the end may be near for the economic development program that Governor Andrew Cuomo once touted as “the greatest economic savior” for upstate New York.