A free hand on healthcare capital by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

The new state budget’s allocation of $500 million in capital funding for healthcare providers – the fifth such infusion in four years – comes with a notable lack of procedural controls or clarity of purpose. [Read_more]

Cuomo’s thought-free tuition offer by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

Governor Andrew Cuomo's "free" tuition plan bore all the earmarks of having been hastily reverse-engineered from a campaign slogan—a Bernie Sanders presidential campaign slogan, that is. Indeed, the governor didn't try hard to dispel that impression, inviting the Vermont senator himself to deliver a endorsement of the plan when it was first rolled out at a Queens College rally on Jan. 3. [Read_more]

Budget pluses and minuses by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

The positives in New York's FY2018 budget make up a pretty short list—while the negatives are in some respects worse than usual. A quick and superficial initial rundown follows. [Read_more]

Parsing a Medicaid takeover by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

A federally mandated state takeover of local Medicaid costs would likely set up a three-way fiscal tug-of-war between upstate counties, downstate suburbs, and New York City. [Read_more]

NY’s new tax break—for a few by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

Out of the clear blue sky, a provision making labor union dues fully deductible for state personal income tax purposes was inserted in New York's final fiscal 2018 budget deal, which was enacted by the Legislature over the weekend. [Read_more]

Oink yet again by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

The tentative state budget deal would pour another $385 million into the biggest, murkiest pork-barrel slush fund New York has ever seen.

The latest version of the Capital Projects bill (A.3004D) would further fatten the State and Municipal Facilities Program (SMFP), building total funds available through the program to $1.64 billion. [Read_more]

More than just ‘extenders’ by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

Although called “extenders,” the temporary budget bills that were speeding through the Legislature on Monday go beyond a simple continuation of the status quo, especially in the area of healthcare. [Read_more]

START-UP melts down by Kenneth Girardin |  | NY Torch

START-UP NY lost almost as many new job commitments as it added during 2016, signaling the end may be near for the economic development program that Governor Andrew Cuomo once touted as “the greatest economic savior” for upstate New York. [Read_more]

Defund push misfires by Kenneth Girardin |  | NY Torch

Calls to “defund” New York’s SAFE Act gun-control law have become standard fare during the budget process—but the goal is completely impractical. [Read_more]

Fact and fiction on AHCA by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

There have been a lot of conflicting claims about how the House GOP health plan – due for a vote today – would affect New York State. Here is a fact-check for some of them. [Read_more]

What if Collins-Faso included NYC? by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

The uproar over proposed federal legislation mandating a state takeover of county Medicaid costs inspires a thought experiment: What if the mandate included New York City? [Read_more]