Cuomo’s misleading labor stats by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

When it comes to rhetorical use of upstate New York unemployment statistics, Governor Cuomo is consistent. Unfortunately, he's consistently misleading.

The latest example came at today's ribbon-cutting today for the new 136,000-square-foot Expo Center at the state fairgrounds in Syracuse, where Cuomo delivered a roughly 25-minute stream-of-consciousness riff that focused on what he portrayed as an economic turnaround in upstate and the Syracuse area. [Read_more]

DiNapoli blocks the union exit by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

State officials are still working overtime to shield government unions from the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME. This week, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office has issued new guidelines effectively giving the unions the first say on efforts by employees to opt out of union dues payments. [Read_more]

NY’s (mis)leading union tactic by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

Desperate to minimize a potential loss of dues under a recent Supreme Court ruling, one of New York State’s largest public employee unions is telling public employers to disregard the union’s own previously stated conditions for letting workers stop paying dues.

The tactic employed by the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) in response to the Janus v. AFSCME decision will put local governments in a bind—which is likely to end up generating added legal bills for taxpayers. [Read_more]

Albany’s OPEB iceberg gets bigger by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

New York's unfunded liability for state government retiree health coverage has reached $90.5 billion—an increase of $3 billion over last year's estimate, and nearly $13 billion in just two years, according to the just-released First Quarterly Update to the state's FY 2019 Financial Plan.

The liability for other post-employment benefits, or OPEB, reflects the net present value of continuing state health insurance coverage available to all employees who retire directly from a state government payroll after at least 10 years of service. [Read_more]

Cuomo’s cable hit by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

This is only the latest instance in which politics seem to be taking precedence over public interest at a consumer-focused regulatory agency. [Read_more]

Getting sober about single-payer by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

As the state awaits the RAND Corp.’s analysis of a proposed single-payer health plan for New York, the organization’s study of a similar plan in Oregon offers a potentially instructive preview. [Read_more]

Here comes federal “Tax Reform 2.0” by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

Congressional Republicans today unveiled a summary of their plans for permanently extending last year's federal income tax cuts—presumably (but not explicitly) subsidized by a permanent $10,000 cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions. [Read_more]

A quiet shift on Fidelis proceeds by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

As the state prepares to collect $2 billion in proceeds from the sale of Fidelis Care, the Cuomo administration has quietly revised its statement on how it will use the money, shifting to an emphasis on service for the needy rather than support for providers. [Read_more]

More on that flaky SALT suit by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

The New York-led multi-state lawsuit challenging the new federal tax law is not as weak as you might have heard.

If anything, it's even worse—a 141-page mashup of half-baked numbers, dubious factual assertions and (largely well-founded) political arguments masquerading as constitutional jurisprudence. [Read_more]

Cuomo’s bad Janus advice by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

Governor Andrew Cuomo hit a new extreme in his bid to prop up government unions, telling public employers to ignore parts of both state law and the Supreme Court ruling in Janus v. AFSCME. [Read_more]

A SALT cap surprise (so far) by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

The newly enacted federal income law provision limiting state and local tax (SALT) deductions "is likely to substantially decrease home values" in New York, Connecticut, Maryland and New Jersey.

That's a key claim of the lawsuit filed by the four states against the Trump administration today with the goal of having the $10,000 SALT deduction cap declared unconstitutional. [Read_more]