Health costs spiral in NY by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

New York's employer-sponsored health insurance premiums – which were already among the steepest in the mainland United States – rose faster than the national average in 2018, pushing the state's affordability gap to new heights. [Read_more]

A June boon for NYC pension funds by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

New York City's five municipal public pension funds ended their 2019 fiscal year with an aggregate investment gain of 7.24 percent, slightly above their 7 percent assumed rate of return, according to a preliminary estimate by city comptroller's office.
[Read_more]

Cuomo tilts with windmills by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

Governor Andrew Cuomo is continuing full steam ahead with policies that will make the state’s already lofty renewable energy targets more expensive and less realistic. [Read_more]

Unions puff up numbers post-Janus by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

One year after the U.S. Supreme Court said government workers couldn’t be forced to pay union dues, New York’s public-sector unions are concealing their losses by publishing inflated membership figures. [Read_more]

NY’s dimming budget outlook by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

When New York's current state budget was enacted, Governor Andrew Cuomo hailed it as "the broadest  and most sweeping" of his tenure, adding that "for the ninth straight year it was both timely and fiscally responsible."

"Timely," yes: budget bills were passed by the Legislature just in time for the April 1 dawn of a new fiscal year.

As for "fiscally responsible"—well, that's more a matter of opinion. [Read_more]

Cuomo’s $1.7B Medicaid mulligan by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

This year's state budget came with a hidden asterisk: In the final throes of his negotiations with legislative leaders, Governor Cuomo quietly postponed a month's worth of Medicaid payments from the last week of March to the first week of April – shifting $1.7 billion in spending from one fiscal year to the next. [Read_more]

Gillibrand’s Medicare muddle by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

At Thursday night's Democratic presidential debate, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand gave a misleading description of the "Medicare for All" proposal that she says she helped to write – implying that it calls for a voluntary buy-in rather than mandatory government coverage. [Read_more]

How NY fuels higher emissions by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

In the name of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the Cuomo administration has been doing everything it can to block construction of natural-gas pipelines in New York. But that policy is probably accomplishing just the reverse—increasing greenhouse gas emissions by boosting reliance on fuel oil, which results in even higher emissions. [Read_more]

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]