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]

NY’s coming capital gains crash by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

#NYCovidCrisis: As the old saying goes, the stock market is not the economy—but in New York, it's an extra-big chunk of the economy, and of the state tax base as well. The ongoing pandemic-driven carnage on Wall Street is a big reason why Albany's tax receipts are expected to fall at least $7 billion short of Governor Cuomo's original budget estimate for FY 2021. [Read_more]

Are Cuomo’s hands tied on Medicaid? by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

#NYCovidCrisis: If recent history is any guide, the strings attached to federal coronavirus funding should be less of a problem for New York than Cuomo seems to think. Almost identical restrictions were placed on extra Medicaid money sent to states during the Great Recession, and they did not prevent then-Governor Paterson from enacting cuts to Medicaid. [Read_more]

COVID numbers in context by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

#NYCovidCrisis : New York has emerged as the nation's coronavirus hot spot, with more diagnosed cases per million than any other state. It has 294 cases per million residents, about seven times the national level, according to an analysis of data gathered by Johns Hopkins University. [Read_more]

If only they had listened by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

#NYCoronaVirus: In the emerging nationwide economic and financial crisis, New York is going to run out of cash more rapidly than most states—and Governor Cuomo can't say he wasn't warned of Albany's extreme vulnerability on this front [Read_more]

Freeze public-sector pay. Now. by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

#NYCoronaVirus: The obvious place to start cutting state and local budgets will also help minimize disruption to public services in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. [Read_more]

Albany’s spreading school budget fog by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

#NYCoronaVirus: Amid the legislative confusion generated by the coronavirus crisis in New York, the biggest budget question in Albany surrounds the biggest single item in the State Operating Funds (SOF) budget: school aid. [Read_more]

A draft Medicaid redesign emerges by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

#NYCoronaVirus: Tightening eligibility for Medicaid home care and implementing a further across-the board rate reduction are among 41 cost-cutting measures being contemplated by Governor Cuomo's Medicaid Redesign Team, according to a draft executive summary obtained by the Empire Center. [Read_more]

With revenues crashing, what next? by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

Thanks to the coronavirus emergency, New York State tax revenues in the coming fiscal year will be $4 billion to $7 billion lower than projected, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli estimates. [Read_more]

The price of procrastination by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

#NYCoronaVirus: As they struggle to contain the coronavirus outbreak on the eve of their budget deadline, the state's elected leaders have run out of good options for dealing with Medicaid. [Read_more]

Union pay remains non-“prevailing” by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

Barely one in five private construction workers in New York State was covered by a union contract last year, according to newly released statistics that call into question a state public works "prevailing wage" mandate that assumes 30 percent union coverage of building trades occupations across New York. [Read_more]