Bypassing science on mammograms by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

A bill requiring health plans to cover digital breast tomosynthesis, a three-dimensional type of mammography, has been delivered to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office for his signature or veto. If the measure is enacted into law, it would be a classic case of healthcare politics rushing ahead of medical science. [Read_more]

50 by…whenever by Kenneth Girardin |  | NY Torch

For a second consecutive year, the state Public Service Commission (PSC) has deeply slashed the amount of renewable energy that utility companies are forced to buy under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Clean Energy Standard (CES). The move casts further doubt on the governor’s goal of having renewables supply 50 percent of the state’s electricity by 2030—while reinforcing the CES program’s status as primarily a bailout for money-losing upstate nuclear plants. [Read_more]

Deadline? What deadline? by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

For the eighth consecutive year, New York's governor and Legislature have failed to comply with a decade-old law designed to foster a "quick start" of the state budget process for the next fiscal year. [Read_more]

Private job gains weak in NY by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

The largest upstate New York metro areas had weak or declining private job numbers in October, and the state as a whole trailed the national employment trend, according to the latest year-over-year data from the state Labor Department. [Read_more]

Right point, wrong data by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

The lead editorial in today’s Wall Street Journal highlights the role that high taxes have played in driving migration trends out of New York and other high-tax states.

Marginal tax rates matter, as the Journal very correctly points out. Unfortunately, in making this important point, the editorial relies a bit too much on a misinterpretation of migration data produced by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which tracks the movement of taxpayers among the 50 states. [Read_more]

New York’s budgetary “boo!” by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

Ten days after the report's Halloween due date, Governor Cuomo's Division of the Budget (DOB) has just issued a mid-year Financial Plan update that might as well be wearing a fright mask.

The update reduces revenue projections by $850 million this year, and by another $850 in each of the next two years, mostly as a result of an estimated $750 million drop in annual personal income tax reductions. [Read_more]

State revenues sinking deeper? by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

New York State's budget gap through fiscal 2018-19 could be a whopping $4.6 billion worse than indicated by Governor Cuomo's latest Division of the Budget (DOB) projections, according to new estimates from state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. [Read_more]

Cuomo’s mid-year tardiness continues by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

Until a few months ago, Governor Cuomo could boast of producing an "on-time budget" in each of his first six years in office. But he also continues to steadily build on another kind of record: for a seventh consecutive year, he has now missed the statutory deadline for issuing the state's Mid-Year Financial Plan Update. [Read_more]

California Dreamin’ on SALT by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

Governor Andrew Cuomo today staged a public joint conference-call with California Governor Jerry Brown to discuss the impact on their respective states of a proposal to eliminate the state and local tax deduction (SALT on federal income taxes. [Read_more]

Trouble on NY’s budget horizon by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

The September cash report from the state comptroller's office—an important indicator of New York's fiscal health at the halfway mark of the fiscal year—highlights growing budgetary worries for Governor Cuomo and (ultimately) the Legislature.

The report showed that total state tax receipts through September 30 had come in $387 million below the level projected for that period in the First Quarterly Update issued in July—which itself reflected a $1.6 billion downward adjustment from the cash flow projection in the Executive Budget presented by Cuomo in January. [Read_more]

SALT loss, upstate tax wound by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

Vice President Pence visited western New York to tout a federal tax reform plan that could still end up saving less for Buffalo area taxpayers than their counterparts elsewhere in the country. [Read_more]

Court will hear fee challenge by Kenneth Girardin |  | NY Torch

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case with potentially major implications for New York’s government employee unions—and, ultimately, taxpayers. [Read_more]
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