Streams

 

New York State Budget

The Brian Lehrer Show

What's In and What's Out as Albany Enters Budget Crunch Time

Thursday, March 26, 2015

As the deadline approaches, a clearer picture is emerging of what's included in the New York State budget. Ethics reform is in. DREAM Act is out. Here's what else you need to know.

Comments [17]

The Brian Lehrer Show

#SaveNYC; Living Cancer; Club Crawls

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Vanishing New York; NYS budget deadline nears; Dr. Harold Varmus; how to talk to people who have cancer; one woman's story of reconciliation & a crawl through NYC's nightlife history.

Schoolbook

Education Lobby Day in Albany Brings Out Two Sides

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

The city's teachers union sees the solution in more funding for traditional public schools. Charter school proponents want alternatives.
Read More

Comment

WNYC News

Watchdog to NY: Don't Waste Your Windfall

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

WNYC

BNP Paribas' settlement to resolve charges it processed transactions for clients in Sudan and Iran includes some $4 billion for New York state and its localities. And budget watchers warn the money should be invested — not used to plug budget holes.

Comments [1]

WNYC News

Can Private Capital Help Heal What Ails NY's Struggling Hospitals?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

WNYC

With aging buildings, uninsured patients and cuts from the government, many hospitals across New York State are facing financial problems. There has been talk in Albany that allowing private investment could help improve their prospects, but a proposal by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to do that has run into snags.

Comments [1]

WNYC News

Despite Early Expectations, NY Budget Includes Tax Increase Extensions

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The new state budget that lawmakers plan to enact this week contains a tax package that includes both tax breaks and tax increases. The spending plan comes just two months after Governor Cuomo said there would not be any new taxes in the budget.

Comments [1]

WNYC News

NY Senate Passes Some Budget Bills While Assembly Waits

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The New York State Senate held a rare Sunday session at the Capitol, in an attempt to get the state budget finished on time in the midst of major religious holidays.

 

Comment

The Brian Lehrer Show

NY's Budget Director

Friday, January 25, 2013

Governor Cuomo unveiled his 2013 budget this week, which included pension reform, gambling revenue, and more. Robert Megna, New York State budget director, talks about the governor's proposed budget and the Cuomo administration's efforts to balance economic recovery and fiscal resposibility.

Comments [4]

The Empire

NY to Do More Probes of Bus Lines with Poor Safety

Monday, April 09, 2012

A little noticed, relatively inexpensive item in New York's massive state budget could be a life saver. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature found $1 million in a nearly flat budget to change the way buses are inspected in New York following a bloody year on the road.

Read More

Comments [1]

The Empire

'The Capitol Pressroom' with Susan Arbetter

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Today on "The Capitol Pressroom":

Economic development is the centerpiece of the newly agreed-upon budget. Governor Andrew Cuomo will discuss some of the plans with us on the show.

Then, reaction to the budget agreement.

We begin with Stephen Acquario of the New York State Association of Counties on the Governor’s plans for mandate relief and a state takeover of Medicaid.

There is new money in the budget as well as a new 3-year Foreclosure Prevention plan that Kirsten Keefe of the Empire Justice Center will have details about.

Not everyone is pleased with the plan – advocates for education like Billy Easton of the Alliance for Quality Education say policies in Albany are making educating our children less effective rather than more.

For show archives, please visit The Capitol Bureau's website here.

Read More

Comment

The Empire

Cuomo, Skelos and Silver announce agreement on NY state budget

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Courtesy of the Governor's office

Governor Andrew Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos announced Tuesday that a final agreement has been reached on this year’s $133 billion budget. It marks the second year in a row the state’s budget has come in balanced and before the deadline.

"For the second straight year, New York State has worked and created a balanced budget based on fiscal responsibility, job creation, government efficiency, and the premise that we must invest in our communities," Cuomo said in a statement announcing the final agreement.

The final agreement comes a week after Cuomo and the legislative leaders agreed to a number of the Governor’s policy items, including the creation of a new DNA databank, an agreement on teacher evaluations and a scaled back version of the pension reform he outlined in his budget proposal. The deal also saw new state legislative districts, drawn by the legislature, passed alongside an agreement to push forward a constitutional amendment to change the decennial redistricting process beginning in 2021.

This year’s budget closed the remaining $2.1 billion budget gap left over after last year’s tax restructuring, which left higher income earners paying more but helped reign in an initial gap of $3.5 billion. The final budget limits spending growth to two percent, while investing in infrastructure job programs, restoring education aid, and eliminating or consolidating dozens of government agencies.

“This agreement puts us in a position to deliver another early budget that controls spending and taxes, and builds on the bipartisan successes we achieved last year,” Skelos said in the statement.

“This budget includes much needed increases in education spending, including an increase in base aid for community colleges for the first time in five years, and vital restorations to programs that protect our state’s neediest citizens,” said Silver in the statement.

Some of the budget highlights include:

Read More

Comments [2]

The Empire

'The Capitol Pressroom' with Susan Arbetter

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Today on "The Capitol Pressroom":

Legislative leaders were in high gear last night: With a Saturday midnight budget deadline starting them in the face, they got down to business, hammering out agreements on infrastructure spending; a new broadly defined commission on gambling and gubernatorial power to transfer money from one agency to another. Newsday’s Albany Bureau Chief Yancey Roy joins us with an update on where things stand.

Then, what will NOT be in the budget? Legislation to create a health care marketplace in New York. Blair Horner of the American Cancer Society will share his thoughts on what that could mean for New York as we head deeper into health care reform.

General Contractors are thrilled by the money that will be spent on transportation infrastructure. Mike Elmendorf, President & CEO of the New York State Association of General Contractors will have reaction.

Plus, Senator Liz Kruger and Senator Bill Perkins, both Democrats, want a bill currently sitting in the Senate Codes committee to be pulled off the shelf. The bill authorizes the use of deadly force in self-defense. Senate Dems say that in light of the Trayvon Martin shooting tragedy the bill invites vigilantism.

For show archives, please visit The Capitol Bureau's website here.

Read More

Comment

The Empire

'The Capitol Pressroom' with Susan Arbetter

Friday, March 23, 2012

Today on "The Capitol Pressroom":

Governor Andrew Cuomo will join the show at 11:06 am.

The AP’s Michael Gormley and Bloomberg’s Freeman Klopett will update us on the status of the budget; the challenge behind passage of health insurance exchanges; the trouble with Cuomo’s so-called transfer language. Plus their analysis of this week’s legislative races & the fracas over funding for Somos.

According to more than one analysis, the Governor’s decision to include transfer language in his budget means that unless the two legislative leaders stand their ground – to the point of shutting down state government – Andrew Cuomo may leave Albany this session as the most powerful Governor New York State has seen in recent history. We speak to “the woman who stopped the Westway”, Marcy Benstock of the NY Clean Air Campaign about her latest quest.

And then some music for the weekend. Ruth Pelham, the founder of the Music Mobile, joins us with Pulitzer Prize winning author William Kennedy to talk…and sing…about the role of music in education.

For show archives, please visit The Capitol Bureau's website here.

Read More

Comment

The Empire

Cuomo: 'Trust is low' that state legislature will enact redistricting reform

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

By Karen DeWitt, New York State Public Radio Capital Bureau Chief

Courtesy of the Governor's office.

Governor Andrew Cuomo, in an interview with public radio, says he’s still trying to hash out an accompanying statute to go with a constitutional amendment to change redistricting reform.

Cuomo says the legislature’s proposed constitutional amendment, as currently written, is not good enough, and any final deal hinges on how tightly structured the proposed law would be. Cuomo says of the legislature’s efforts to reform redistricting, “my trust is low, my skepticism is high”.

The governor says if there’s a failure to reach an accord, and the legislative lines are ultimately drawn by a federal magistrate, then the resulting maps would “probably get you somewhat better lines” than any product from the Senate and Assembly.

On pensions, Cuomo says talks on reforming the system are on going, and in order to reach a deal, he’d accept reforms that are not in the form of a new benefit tier, as long as the savings are there. He warns the alternative to pension reform is “thousands of layoffs” of employees in local governments around the state.

Union sources have accused the governor of playing politics, and staging a fight with organized labor as part of a strategy to run for President in 2016. Cuomo denies this, saying it’s “not about future campaigns, this is about past campaigns’ saying unions did not back him in 2010 governors’ race. He says the reason is that he told union leaders at the time that he intended to change the public pension system.

Cuomo also clarified his position on the reproductive health act, which would further protect a woman’s right to choose abortion, saying he “fully” supports it.

“I’ve been a long supporter of pro choice issues going way, way back, and I always will be,” Cuomo said.

This story has been updated from an earlier version.

Read More

Comment

The Empire

'The Capitol Pressroom' with Susan Arbetter

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Today on "The Capitol Pressroom":

Governor Andrew Cuomo joins us at 11:06am to discuss Tier VI and redistricting.

Assembly Majority Leader Ron Canestrari will have highlights from the Assembly's budget.

Then, how can the state & municipalities earn revenue from hydrofracking, while at the same time, paying for the costs associated with it? It’s a question that Carol Chock and Dan Barber have been trying to figure out. They are part of a working group associated with the Tompkins County Council of Governments (TCCOG), which is urging New York State to refrain from issuing gas drilling permits until "it can capture appropriate taxes and fees and allocate them to cover costs to all levels of government, based on sound policy and verifiable data." Both Chock and Barber will join us to explain.

And the New York Immigration Coalition is pushing for a New York State version of the Dream Act that would provide TAP funding to illegal immigrants attending New York State colleges and universities. Chung-Wha Hong, Executive Director of the NY Immigration Coalition and 23 year old CUNY student Yajaira Saavedra will join us.

For show archives, please visit The Capitol Bureau's website here.

Read More

Comments [4]

The Empire

Expectations run high for education, health care in Cuomo's budget

Friday, January 13, 2012

By Karen DeWitt, New York State Public Radio Capital Bureau Chief

Courtesy of the Governor's office.

Governor Andrew Cuomo is set to release his state budget plan on Tuesday. He will have the challenge of closing a $2 billion dollar budget gap.

But the good news is, it’s far less than last year’s $10 billion dollar gap. It’s smaller than it was projected to be as recently as a month ago. That’s because Cuomo and lawmakers in December struck a deal on major changes to the state’s tax code. The changes will bring an estimated $1.5 billion in additional revenue.

The bad news, for Cuomo, is that he does not have lot of options to close the gap. He’s already said he does not want to raise taxes. Yet he’s holding to a commitment to increase spending on schools and health care by four percent in the new budget.

Read More

Comment

The Empire

'The Capitol Pressroom' with Susan Arbetter

Friday, January 13, 2012

Today on "The Capitol Pressroom":

Capital Tonight’s Liz Benjamin & the NY Daily News’ Glenn Blain on what we should be looking for in Tuesday’s budget address. Also, if I can convince them, we will share our most embarrassing moments while covering state government in Albany.

While New York City now has mandated sex ed in public schools, the Shenendehowa School District in Saratoga County recently discontinued its sex ed program taught by Planned Parenthood. As Seinfeld would say, ‘What’s the deal with Sex Ed?” We’ll speak with Tracey Brooks, President & CEO of Family Planning Advocates of NYS & the Reverend Larry Phillips, pastor of Emmanuel Friedens Church in Schenectady, and a member of the Concerned Clergy for Choice.

And former State Assemblyman Michael Benjamin has been an outspoken critic of mandated sex ed in NYC schools. He joins us with another perspective on this upstate district’s recent decision.

Read More

Comment

The Empire

NYC getting back less than it pays in state bucks: Rockefeller Institute

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A new report from the Rockefeller Institute at the University of Albany concludes what has been an open secret: downstate communities, including New York City, get back less in state spending than they put in in taxes.

The entire report is below, but here are the important numbers during the 2009-2010 budge cycle:

  • New York City pays 45 percent of the state's tax other revenue burden. We receive back only 40 percent of the state's expenditures.
  • Downstate suburbs pay 23.6 percent of the tax burden, but only receive 18 percent of the state's funding.
  • By comparison, out of the remaining 48 counties--not including the Capital Region--in the state paid 24 percent of the state's taxes, yet received 35 percent of the state's dollars.
  • And in the Capital Region--Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Schenectady counties--those communities paid 4 percent of the state's tax share, but received nearly double that much back at 7 percent.

While this will hopefully give comfort and fodder to those pushing back on the idea that New York City is gobbling up disproportionate amounts of the state's resources, it's also worth looking at this in the context of redistricting.

I posted a lengthy piece digging in to downstate redistricting maps proposed by Common Cause. Their maps would work, among other things, to balance out the concentration of State Senate seats so New York City was better represented in that chamber. As the Rockefeller Institute shows, those political realities--who represents where--make a difference.

Read More

Comments [3]

The Empire

How Cuomo outflanked the left, mollified the right, and (yet again) came out on top of everyone

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Update: Some good reactions from key folks, courtesy of WNYC's Ilya Marritz.

Couresy of the Governor's office.

Governor Andrew Cuomo is receiving significant praise for the (all but certain) passage of a tax reform package today. Sure, not everyone loves it, but for the most part Cuomo has yet again managed to expertly sail the gale-blown political seas in Albany, all the while avoiding the siren calls from either end of the political spectrum.

So how did he do it? With geometry! He employed a three-dimensional solution to a two-dimensional problem.

Jacob Gershman of the Wall Street Journal has what may be the definitive piece on Cuomo’s slow turn on tax reform. But the truth is the Governor was able to solve a singular problem—the debate over the millionaires’ tax—by going beyond it to solve a bigger problem—the tax code—all the while outmaneuvering those on both his left and right.

On his left he had labor unions and progressive members of the state legislature, emboldened by the Occupy Wall Street movement, demanding the Governor not sacrifice spending on things like education, and programs for the poor for a promised lower tax rate on higher-income earners starting January 1, 2012.

On his right he had Senate Republicans and business leaders echoing back to him those same promises not to raise taxes at a time when the State’s economy remained weak. Likewise, Cuomo has put a lot of stock in his efforts to make New York appear “Open for Business”—changing the state’s image as a high-tax, high-regulation state is crucial to the Governor’s sensible centrist mission.

As I reported a month ago, the Governor couldn’t afford to look like he was backpedalling or caving on his previous promises and positions—despite reports that he wasn’t keen on doing so. What the Governor needed was an opportunity:

Read More

Comments [3]