Assembly bolsters govt unions by Ken Girardin | | NY Torch

By an overwhelming margin, the state Assembly has approved a bill designed to partially inoculate New York’s government unions against a potential U.S. Supreme Court ruling ending the unions’ ability to extract dues-like “fees” from employees.

Thinking through an IVF mandate by Bill Hammond | | NY Torch

Before voting to mandate insurance coverage for in vitro fertilization, state lawmakers should think through what such a rule would accomplish, how much it would cost, and who would pay the bill.

NY schools spend $21,206 per pupil by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

New York's public schools spent $21,206 per pupil in the 2014-15 school year, topping all states and exceeding the national average by 86 percent, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released today.

Music, gaming payola on tap again by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

Having just extended nearly $1.3 billion in tax-funded giveaways to wealthy film and TV producers, New York lawmakers are ready to throw even more money at the entertainment industry.

NY’s fiscal picture a bit murkier by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

New York State's fiscal outlook appears to have deteriorated in the past three months, based on an initial review of the financial plan update released late today by Governor Cuomo's Division of the Budget (DOB).

Obamacare growth slows in NY by Bill Hammond | | NY Torch

The growth of Obamacare-related health coverage in New York slowed to 3 percent over the past year, as surging enrollment in the Essential Plan and Child Health Plus was offset by declining signups for commercial plans and Medicaid.

Bill would smash gov’t worker rights by Ken Girardin | | NY Torch

Legislation introduced by the politically potent state Senate Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) with Republican support would scrap a decades-old worker protection and make it more difficult for government employees to change their mind about paying dues to a labor union.

Cuomo’s self-serving SEQR streamline by Ken Girardin | | NY Torch

The Cuomo administration has proposed modifications to the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQR), which has long hindered growth and development in New York State.

While the changes under consideration by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) would represent at least one important step in a pro-growth direction, the proposed tweaks to SEQR would also clear a smoother path for key Cuomo priorities, such as the development of vast solar panel farms and wind turbine installations required by the governor’s renewable energy push. And in some other respects, the proposed SEQR changes would create even more development red tape.

NY’s economy behind US pace by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

New York had one of the nation's slowest-growing state economies last year, according to the latest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimates from the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis.

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.
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