Senate seeks costly “discussion” by Kenneth Girardin |  | NY Torch

The state Senate’s ruling majority coalition hopes state budget talks will include a “discussion about whether the definition of public work should be updated”—shorthand for whether costly union compensation packages should be imposed on a much larger number of projects subsidized directly or indirectly by taxpayers. [Read_more]

More green, less energy by Kenneth Girardin |  | NY Torch

Governor Andrew Cuomo has married his unrealistic renewable energy targets to his push to steer work to the building trades unions. The likely results: even higher costs—and even fewer projects. [Read_more]

Schumer taps his own state by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

Led by New York's Charles Schumer, U.S. Senate Democrats just unveiled a "Jobs and Infrastructure Plan" that would be financed disproportionately by Empire State taxpayers.

To cover the 10-year, $1 trillion price-tag of their package, Senate Democrats would reverse several provisions of the newly enacted federal tax changes—including reductions in the top income tax rate and in the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). [Read_more]

A surprising surplus in Albany by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

Here’s another health care cut that Albany can stop worrying about: Despite losing $1 billion in federal funding, the state’s Essential Plan is actually expected to run a hefty surplus—which the Cuomo administration is using to plug budget holes. [Read_more]

The shape of watered-down SALT by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

The Cuomo administration has released a few more details of its plan to propose an optional payroll tax for New York employers as a way to preserve some of the state and local tax (SALT) deductions capped under the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. [Read_more]

A ‘windfall’ tug-of-war by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

Existing state regulations, along with competitive pressures, assure that health insurers will share much if not all of the benefit of federal tax cuts with their policyholders. Rather than trying to grab the money or dictate how it's spent, lawmakers should let market forces do their work.

NY’s Obamacare surge by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

Sign-ups for both government-sponsored and private health coverage through the New York State of Health insurance exchange surged during this year’s open-enrollment period, a sign of continued consumer demand in the face of political turmoil and rising premiums. [Read_more]

NY’s latest power play by Kenneth Girardin |  | NY Torch

Renewable energy companies aren’t building the windmills and solar panels Governor Andrew Cuomo hoped for when he pledged in 2015 to have 50 percent of the state’s electricity come from renewables by 2030. Cuomo’s latest solution? The state will build them itself. [Read_more]

NY’s federal health aid: On the rise by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

After many dire warnings about cuts to health care in Washington, it’s worth noting that federal funding for the state’s massive Medicaid program is still on track to go up, not down, in the year ahead. [Read_more]

Cuomo’s big stealth tax hike by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

Governor Cuomo's budget proposal includes more than $1.5 billion in automatic income tax hikes, affecting many of the same people who have the most to lose from the new federal limits on state and local tax (SALT) deductions. [Read_more]
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