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Thomas Dinapoli

WNYC News

Public Campaign Financing Test Has Serious Flaws, Comptroller Says

Monday, March 31, 2014

Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says a test public finance campaign might be unworkable.

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WNYC News

Comptroller Says State Probably Can Afford Tax Cuts, But Just Barely

Friday, December 20, 2013

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says he’ll need to see more details and end of the calendar year state revenue figures before deciding whether the state can afford $2 billion in new tax cuts that Governor Andrew Cuomo is likely to propose.

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WNYC News

Comptroller's Audit Finds Double Dipping at State Agencies

Thursday, December 19, 2013

An audit by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli finds a pattern of state workers double dipping at state agencies and authorities.

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WNYC News

Tiny Violin for Wall Street as Bonuses Shrink

Friday, December 13, 2013

The securities industry isn't the jobs-engine it used to be.

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WNYC News

Comptroller Says Pension Fund Contributions Could Ease Soon

Monday, July 29, 2013

New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli said there may be a glimmer of hope soon for fiscally-strapped cities. He said it's possible that local governments' pension payment obligations could be declining.

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WNYC News

NYS Official Prods Companies to Use 'Sustainable' Palm Oil

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Dunkin’ Donuts is changing it recipes, though customers may not notice much difference the next time they bite into a cruller.

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WNYC News

Wall Street Bonuses and Profits Rose in 2012, Comptroller Says

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Bonuses are up for workers on Wall Street, thanks to there being fewer of them.  A new report from the New York state comptroller finds that profits tripled and the number of employees is still smaller than before the financial crisis.

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WNYC News

New York Faces Billions in Tax Hikes if Fiscal Cliff Not Averted

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

New Yorkers will face a 43 billion dollar tax hike next year if Washington does nothing to avert the so-called fiscal cliff.

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WNYC News

Comptroller: Sandy Could Cost State $18B

Friday, November 02, 2012

The State Comptroller estimates that Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath will cost the state as much as $18 billion dollars.

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WNYC News

Scrutiny Over Harassment Payout Shifts to State Offices

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The role the offices of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli played in a settlement payout has become the focus of attention as fall out continues from Assemblyman Vito Lopez sexual harassment scandal.  In June, Speaker Sheldon Silver approved a $103,080 settlement to two women who claimed Lopez sexually harassed them.

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WNYC News

As Questions of a Silver Payoff Arise, Embattled Lopez Gives Up County Chair Bid

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Controversy continues to swirl around embattled Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez, and has now enveloped the Assembly’s top Democrat.  As Lopez announced Tuesday that he would not seek reelection as the head of the Brooklyn Democratic Party, questions were raised over how a six-figure payout from Speaker Sheldon Silver was made to settle a previous harassment charge against Lopez — a decision Silver said late Tuesday was “wrong.”

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Schoolbook

Audit Finds Faulty Expenses at Two Schools

Monday, August 13, 2012

An audit by the state comptroller chastises James Madison High School and Herbert Lehman High School for sloppy accounting. Tweed officials say most of the expenses were appropriate but they are working with the schools on improved accounting practices.

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WNYC News

NYC Budget May Face Gaps in Future Years, State Comptroller Says

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

A new report from the state comptroller finds Mayor Michael Bloomberg's $68.7 billion proposed budget for fiscal year 2013 relies heavily on resources that will not be available in 2014 and later years.

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WNYC News

Pension Fund Chases Better Returns from NY’s Growing Startup Scene

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

In the race for tech startups, New York City no longer lags far behind Silicon Valley and Boston, but is a growing powerhouse of well-funded technology companies. Tech startups may also be getting a boost from State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. Seeking better returns than the bond or stock markets can offer, as trustee of the New York State Common Retirement Fund, DiNapoli has amped up investments in local startups.

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WNYC News

Post 9/11 Security Upgrade to NYC Transit Lags

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

WNYC

A new report says the first phase of the NY MTA’s security upgrade after 9/11 won’t be done for another two years, and that cost keeps rising.

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The Empire

DiNapoli moves on to the budget as unions dig in over pension reform

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Courtesy of CSPAN

Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders have relatively few remaining differences in this year’s budget, though ironing out all of the details will likely now prevent passage of the spending plan until later next week.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has been at odds with Cuomo over pension reform, but praised the governor and lawmakers for being both conservative in their revenue estimates and prudent--so far--in their spending plans. Lawmakers are working on closing a $2 billion budget deficit, which is down from last year’s $10 billion gap.

“We don’t see the gimmicks that we’ve seen in past years. That’s good,” said DiNapoli.

The Comptroller does take issue, though, with the governor’s proposal to eliminate pre audits that his office conducts on some state contracts, saying “it takes away the opportunity” for his office to look out for taxpayer interests and the “best value” for the state.

The state Comptroller has largely sided with the unions in the fight over a pension reform package approved in all night session March 15. DiNapoli has said the plan, which required future public employees to pay more towards their pensions and receive less in return, won’t save state and local governments money in the short run.

But the Comptroller says now that the law has been enacted, his office will do its job and implement it. He says he questions the claims by Cuomo and lawmakers that the new pension tier will save $80 billion in future decades, saying there are “a lot of ifs” in that assumption.

He says one of the “key drivers” will be how many new workers are hired in a continued depressed economy.

“I don’t think you’ll see a robust hiring season for a while,” said DiNapoli.

DiNapoli says he’s pleased that Cuomo’s proposal to offer the option of 401(k)-type plans for all new hires was ultimately dropped. Only non-union hires who make more than $70,000 a year are eligible for the 401(k) option now.

Unions continued to express their displeasure.

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The Empire

'The Capitol Pressroom' with Susan Arbetter

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Today on "The Capitol Pressroom":

Comptroller Tom DiNapoli speaks out on the budget, pension reform and Tier VI; tightening up the rules for local development corporations; and the pre-audit function of the Comptroller’s office.

It’s Sportsmen & Outdoor Recreation Lobbying Day here at the Capitol. Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb and NRA Board Member Tom King join us with their legislative agenda.

Plus, Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Darrel Aubertine with an update on the Farm Bill, the mystery behind NY Maple syrup production, and the “Buy from the backyard act”.

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The Empire

DiNapoli: new pension tier offers 'minimal' savings

Thursday, March 01, 2012

In case you missed it: Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, in a sit-down interview with the Empire on Wednesday, laid on his case against the push for a new pension tier. It was buried in yesterday's piece but is worth taking an isolated look at:

The Comptroller also discussed the pension reform debate. Mayor Michael Bloomberg was in Albany on Wednesday to push state legislators to pass Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed Tier VI plan.

“As local elected leaders, we are the ones who see firsthand just how rising pension obligations are taking a bigger and bigger bite how they’re increasing our tax rates all across this state, money that’s coming out of the pockets of people who are working hard trying to make ends meet and have a future for themselves and their families.”

DiNapoli pointed out that the biggest driver of state pension costs right now is the fallout of the financial crisis which began in 2007.

“Any discussion of changing the parameters of a new tier is not going to impact on the cost that are of concern today,” he said. “We did a new Tier V just two years ago...It had minimal impact on the cost. You do a Tier VI, right--you do it today: minimal impact on the cost."

On this point, the Governor and Comptroller don’t appear to be in disagreement. Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Cuomo said “the benefit” of a new pension tier wouldn’t be felt “for years.”

“All we're doing is now changing the rules going forward,” he said. “You're not going to feel these changes for many, many years.”

DiNapoli echoed the Governor’s point on the new tier: “Until you starting hiring a sign number of people in those two tiers, it's not going to have a significant impact."

The difference? Cuomo sees the system as ultimately flawed, as it leaves tax payers on the hook, and in need of a fundamental overhaul that would semi-privatize the system. DiNapoli sees the system as essentially working, and thinks that, instead of making these fundamental decisions “at an extreme” like we are now, we should approach such a long-term situation with an equally expansive mindset.

“I think it's totally appropriate to debate the different parameters of retirement age and contribution level--that's what Tier V's discussion was all about,” he said. “Let’s have a fact-based, thoughtful, inclusive discussion. I think that's the smarter way to approach this question."

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The Empire

DiNapoli on Wall Street's 'new normal' after report shows smaller profits, bonuses

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Courtesy of CSPAN

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli released a report today highlighting the shrinking profits of Wall Street. According to the report, upcoming bonuses are projected to decline by 14 percent, as brokerage profits were less than half of what they were in 2010.

In a sit-down interview with WNYC’s Empire blog, the Comptroller said the good news was that the state and city had both planned for decreased revenue from the financial industry in their budgets. But more importantly, DiNapoli said, the shrinking of Wall Street profits could be a good thing.

“As we move towards more implementation of federal regulatory oversight, where the emphasis will be on transparency, accountability in compensation, tying it to long-term profitability, less leverage, higher cash reserves--all of that adjustment, which we're seeing the beginnings of in terms of impact, that's probably going to continue,” he said. “If that produces an industry that is profitable, at a sustained level, we may not have the peaks we had a few years ago ever again but if the tradeoff is that we won't have the kind of valley that we had in ‘08 and ‘09 i think that's good for everyone--certainly from the point of view of planning for city and state budgets; it will make it much easier.”

DiNapoli said he couldn’t say for sure if the trend on Wall Street was “the new normal”, but he did note that just like this month has seen an improvement in the markets—the Dow hit 13,000 for the first time since 2008 this week—last February started the year out strong.

“"That's not how the rest of the year played out,” he said.

From the government spending side, he said both the city and state budgets have already started responding to the possible permanence of a smaller Wall Street.

“I think we've already anticipated this trend,” he said. “We just have to continue to monitor carefully where it's all headed.”

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WNYC News

Wall Street Bonuses, Bank Profits Dip: DiNapoli

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The average Wall Street employee took home a cash bonus of just over $120,000 last year, down 13 percent from 2010, according to an estimate released Wednesday by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

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