Feds extend union safeguards by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

A proposed rule under consideration by the U.S. Department of Labor would have the unexpected benefit of letting more New York public employees see how their union dues are spent—and negating a major union’s recent move to escape federal oversight. [Read_more]

Getting real on Rx costs by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

Governor Cuomo says that controlling the cost of prescription drugs will be part of his agenda in 2020. Four bills currently awaiting his signature or veto give him a chance to get started on that promise in 2019. [Read_more]

Thruway (finally) mulls TZ tolls by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

A year after completing its replacement for the Tappan Zee Bridge, and seven years after starting construction on the project, the state Thruway Authority has finally gotten around to proposing a schedule for raising the eastbound-only bridge toll. [Read_more]

Top 10 NYTorch posts of 2019 | NY Torch

Medicaid and other healthcare issues dominated the most-read posts on the Empire Center's NYTorch blog in 2019—a year that's ended under the shadow of a major state Medicaid budget overrun first disclosed on this site. [Read_more]

Regents flunk finance (again) by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

Budget deficit? What budget deficit?

With today’s pending recommendation from the Board of Regents, New York's education establishment is united in proposing that state aid to America's best-funded preK-12 public school system be increased next year by at least $2 billion. The figure is nearly double the amount projected in Governor Cuomo's financial plan—which showed the state is running deeply in the red and facing its largest budget shortfall since the Great Recession. [Read_more]

Grid fails under pressure by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

In buckling under pressure and threats from Governor Andrew Cuomo, National Grid has firmed up a troubling new normal of regulatory policy in New York State. [Read_more]

Cuomo’s self-inflicted crisis by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

The remarkable thing about state's multi-billion-dollar Medicaid crisis is that it is almost entirely the result of the Cuomo administration's own actions. There is no economic downturn or change in federal policy that explains the program's current $4 billion deficit, or its $3 billion projected gap in the next fiscal year, as confirmed in Friday's mid-year update to the state financial plan. [Read_more]

NY’s unregulated regulator by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s regulatory attack on National Grid’s Long Island gas moratorium threatens to have broader negative financial effects on all of the state’s investor-owned utilities—with implications for the overall business climate as well. [Read_more]