In 2014, the Empire Center created guidelines for what information local governments and school districts should make available on their websites—and found that most of the state's 500 largest municipalities and districts were not meeting that standard.
In their budget bills, state Assembly Democrats and Senate Republicans both had the good sense to reject one of the most egregious fiscal-political gimmicks ever to emerge from Governor Andrew Cuomo: a temporary income tax credit that would have reimbursed a portion of Thruway tolls paid by New York State residents and businesses.
In his push for a statewide $15-an-hour minimum wage, Governor Andrew Cuomo frequently invokes fairness, justice and the rhetoric of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. But the pre-FDR Progressive Era advocates of the minimum wage had a worldview that today would fit in best at a Donald Trump rally.
New York’s Legislature has been exempt from many provisions of the state Freedom of Information Law since FOIL was first enacted in 1974. The Assembly and Senate ultimately decide how much legislative information to make public. This makes about as much sense as putting Cookie Monster in charge of security at the Chips Ahoy factory.
As a result, a lot of information on legislative matters ranging from individual employee timesheets to a billion-dollar slush fund has been concealed from taxpayers.
But if Governor Cuomo has his way, that could soon change.
Before leaving Albany for the Legislature's Presidents' Week recess, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie tweeted up a storm in support of a new soak-the-rich tax hike proposal backed by most of his fellow Assembly Democrats.
In the process, he trotted out some familiar myths and misleadingly incomplete data to support the claim that wealthy New Yorkers don't pay their "fair share" of state income taxes.
For the third time in as many years, a state Senate committee has approved and sent to the Senate floor a bill that would lock in tens of billions of dollars worth of unfunded retirement health insurance coverage promised to New York government employees.
The bill in question, sponsored by Republican Sen. Andrew Lanza of Staten Island, is designed to prevent state and local government employers from even attempting to restructure other post-employment benefits (OPEB) without first bargaining such changes with public employee unions.