Budget includes a borrowing binge by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

#NYCoronaVirus: The Legislature isn't just delegating emergency spending control powers to Governor Cuomo as part of the new state budget.  It's also handing him a deficit-financing credit card with an $11 billion limit. [Read_more]

Getting real on Medicaid by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

#NYCoronaVirus: As New York State lawmakers debate the Medicaid budget during a public health crisis, here are seven things they should keep in mind. [Read_more]

The axeman cometh (but not yet) by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

#NYCoronaVirus: The coronavirus pandemic has just claimed its first big institutional victim: the New York State Legislature, which handed Governor Cuomo broad and unprecedented leeway to "adjust or reduce" state spending in the fiscal year that began today. [Read_more]

Medicaid still needs fixing by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

The world has changed since Governor Cuomo tasked his Medicaid Redesign Team with finding $2.5 billion in savings to help balance the state budget. Yet even in light of the coronavirus pandemic, many of the panel's recommendations still make sense – and are arguably more necessary than ever. [Read_more]

Taylor Law ties up COVID response by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

When it comes to responding to the coronavirus, New York is likely to struggle with a pre-existing condition: the Taylor Law.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has authority to suspend portions of the Taylor Law—and to preserve vital public services, he should. [Read_more]

NY is shorted on virus relief by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

Although New York is taking the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic – with 43 percent of the nation's known cases and 40 percent of the deaths – the state is due to receive only 5 percent of the $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund just established by Congress. [Read_more]

Tax cap: more crucial than ever by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

#NYCoronaVirus: The negative economic after-effects of the pandemic seem likely to rival if not exceed those of the Great Recession of 2008-09.

But as New Yorkers face massive job losses, falling incomes, sagging property values and widespread economic insecurity, they'll have one layer of protection they sorely lacked in the last downturn: a tight cap on local property tax levies, instigated by Governor Cuomo in 2011. [Read_more]

How the stimulus bill treats NY by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

#NYCoronaVirus: The $2 trillion federal stimulus bill on its way to passage today does not actually shortchange New York in any general sense—but it does seem to clearly dash Governor Cuomo's vain hopes for a budget bailout, which is why he is so unhappy about it. [Read_more]

Amid crisis, state to hike pay by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

#NYCoronaVirus: With state revenues crashing and joblessness skyrocketing, more than a third of the New York state government workforce is scheduled to get a 2 percent pay raise in less than a week. [Read_more]

NY’s COVID toll rises fast by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

#NYCoronaVirus: In the early days of the coronavirus outbreak, New York's death toll appears to be rising at a faster rate than any other state and most other countries. [Read_more]

Taxpayers must have access by Tim Hoefer |  | NY Torch

#NYCoronaVirus: While daily life has been disrupted, essential functions must go on amid the coronavirus crisis—including the budgeting process for the state’s nearly 700 school districts. [Read_more]

Transparency is an antiviral by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

#NYCovidCrisis: As they make their now-routine announcements about new cases of coronavirus, some New York health officials have been publicizing the public places and events that the infected people visited, to put others on notice about their own possible exposure. This is a useful and no-cost strategy for flattening the curve that other agencies should follow. [Read_more]
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