R.I.P., insurance mandate relief by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

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With a line-item veto last week, Governor Cuomo put a last nail in the coffin of a good idea that was never given a chance by Albany: analyzing the costs and benefits of health insurance mandates before passing them into law.

[Read_more]

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

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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. [Read_more]

NY to keep longer ACA signup by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

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New York is planning to demur from some of the Trump administration’s rule changes for Obamacare, including its much shorter enrollment window. [Read_more]

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

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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. [Read_more]

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

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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. [Read_more]

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

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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. [Read_more]

Parsing a Medicaid takeover by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

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A federally mandated state takeover of local Medicaid costs would likely set up a three-way fiscal tug-of-war between upstate counties, downstate suburbs, and New York City. [Read_more]

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

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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. [Read_more]

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

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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. [Read_more]

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

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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. [Read_more]

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

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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. [Read_more]
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