Budget pushes health costs higher by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

The new state budget features a larger-than-usual increase in Medicaid spending and two new coverage mandates for private insurers – adding to the already steep costs of health care for New York's taxpayers and policyholders. [Read_more]

Albany’s other big raise by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

The hastily approved raise for New York’s governor had an unintended consequence: sweetening the Tier 6 pension plan enacted in 2012 and saddling taxpayers with an untold amount of higher pension costs. [Read_more]

How solid is budget’s foundation? by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

With the Legislature getting ready to pass a budget for the fiscal year starting April 1, some fresh data and analysis emerging from the world outside Albany in the past week or so has raised new questions about the durability of the state's revenue base. [Read_more]

Where NY’s school money goes by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

It’s commonly perceived that New York’s education funding system directs more money to wealthier, whiter schools than to poorer, less white schools – and that the distribution of state aid reinforces those inequities. Looking at the totality of school spending across the state, however, different patterns emerge. [Read_more]

Senate moves massive mandate by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

A Republican-sponsored bill that would impose a massive unfunded state mandate on local governments was unanimously reported out of Senate committee this week. [Read_more]

Medicaid déjà vu by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

In a "Groundhog Day"-like replay of tactics from last year, health-care interests are again using an unlikely threat of spending cuts in Washington to demand special treatment in the upcoming state budget.

The question now is whether the governor and the Legislature will play along with the movie for a second time in a row – and whether it will have the same ugly ending.

[Read_more]

Cuomo’s Medicaid merry-go-round by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

Governor Cuomo is now backing away from Medicaid spending cuts he pushed less than four weeks ago, his second about-face on health-care funding so far this year. Even more head-spinning is his stated rationale: the supposed threat to federal aid outlined in President Trump's budget proposal this week. [Read_more]

One-house megabucks by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

With the clock ticking toward the April 1 start of the next state fiscal year, Assembly Democrats just laid out their budget preferences—and, as usual, they add up to a massive tax-and-spend fantasy. [Read_more]

Jobs grow further apart in NY by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

Newly revised data from the state Labor Department indicate New York's regional economic performance gap has grown larger in the last year.

On a year-to-year basis, the state gained 103,900 private-sector jobs in January—a growth rate of 1.3 percent at a time when the U.S. as a whole was growing by 2.1 percent, according to the state Labor Department's monthly jobs report. [Read_more]

NY’s “heart attack” recovery by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

As the budget process moves into higher gear, Governor Cuomo's "serious as a heart attack" revenue shortfall has turned into something more like angina—but financial risks are mounting along with projected future budget gaps. [Read_more]
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