A dilemma for doulas by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

Governor Cuomo's efforts to reduce maternal mortality have put New York's doulas on the path to state regulation – and some of them want to get off. [Read_more]

Session’s end clobbers NY economy by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

The closing days and hours of New York State’s 2019 legislative session were easily among the most economically consequential in Albany’s recent history—but not in a positive sense. [Read_more]

NY’s getting a bit grayer by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

The elderly share of America's population has been growing—but New York is graying more slowly. That’s among the trends to be gleaned from the latest U.S. Census estimates of population distributions by age group at the state and county level. [Read_more]

Albany unleashes a green monster by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act on its way to enactment in Albany would vastly expand the state government’s power to regulate every corner of New York’s economy in pursuit of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Yet even as it addresses what proponents describe as a “climate emergency,” the bill’s most controversial elements have been postponed until after the 2022 elections. [Read_more]

A rush to regulate PBMs by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

In the name of lowering drug costs, state lawmakers are on the brink of passing hastily drafted and ill-considered legislation that would risk driving those costs even higher. [Read_more]

NY’s ominous new rent regs by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

New York City's World War II-rooted "housing emergency" is now officially indefinite—and has spread, potentially, to every corner of New York State.

But the potential negative impacts of the law won't be limited to the Big Apple. The law is likely to have a chilling effect on prospects for multifamily investment and development in struggling communities across New York—especially upstate. [Read_more]

Senate OKs less local say on cops by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

Many of the faces have changed, and so has the majority party, but the state Senate is more united than ever in its willingness to weaken disciplinary procedures for cops and firefighters accused of wrongdoing. [Read_more]

Albany’s Rx for higher premiums by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

Dozens of the health-care bills percolating through the Legislature in the closing days of session have one thing in common: They would add to the already high price of health insurance in New York State. [Read_more]

Pension woes for 1199 by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

Two pension funds affiliated with 1199 SEIU, the state's largest and most influential union for  health-care workers, recently disclosed that they are in critical status due to funding or liquidity problems for an 11th straight year. [Read_more]

Rochester schools: bad to worse by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

There's good news and bad news about Rochester schools from a new study comparing the variation in educational quality within urban educational systems.

The good news: measured by standardized pupil proficiency scores, there's only an 8.6 percentage point gap between good and bad schools in Rochester.

The bad news: even Rochester's good schools—those in the 75th percentile—have the lowest proficiency scores among the 68 largest urban school systems in the country. [Read_more]

The pension piece of “prevailing wage” by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

New York’s AFL-CIO has issued a statement blasting the “misinformation campaign” by business groups fighting organized labor’s push to impose union pay levels on private developments receiving public subsidies.

There is, indeed, plenty of misinformation wafting around this issue—but virtually all of it originated  in the union camp. [Read_more]

Albany pork binge update by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

New York lawmakers and Governor Andrew Cuomo last year tapped their favorite slush funds for more than $500 million in pork barrel spending, according to the latest tally posted at our SeeThroughNY transparency database. And before the current session ends in two weeks, the Legislature could once again jack up its favorite pork appropriations. [Read_more]