New Federal Dollars for New York: The TANF Emergency Contingency Fund in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

February 28, 2011. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) established the Emergency Contingency Fund within the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program for states to provide more support to needy families. The new fund would supplement a prior existing contingency fund (called the regular Contingency Fund), which in New York’s case was soon to be exhausted.

An ongoing series of briefs from the Fiscal Policy Institute, collected here together with related testimony, looks into the rules governing the new Emergency Contingency Fund (ECF), reviews New York’s experience with the regular Contingency Fund, and explores the situations under which New York may qualify for ECF funds.

Issue Briefs – 2010

September 17, 2010.  Extension of the TANF Emergency Contingency Fund is Essential to Bringing More Jobs and Needed Financial Support to New York State. The very tight budget situations that state and local governments continue to face may force them to reduce or eliminate services for needy families. An extension of the TANF Emergency Contingency Fund will help New York and the other states to continue their safety net programs without ravaging other parts of their budgets.

May 19, 2010.  Extending the TANF Emergency Contingency Fund Would Bring More Dollars and Jobs to New York. To help needy families during the Great Recession, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which was signed into law by President Obama on February 17, 2009, created a $5 billion Emergency Contingency Fund (ECF) within the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) federal block grant program. The TANF ECF has brought $935 million in new federal dollars to New York over the last year. With the nation continuing to experience high unemployment rates, an extension of the ECF past its current September 30, 2010, expiration date is essential.

Issue Briefs and Supporting Information – 2009

June 11, 2009.  Part I and Part II – The Basics and New York’s Experience to Date Using the Regular Contingency Fund, together with data tables.

August 11, 2009.  Part III – How New York Could Use the TANF Emergency Contingency Fund, with a data table, timeline, and sources

Testimony – 2010-2011

February 16, 2011.  Testimony at the Joint Legislative Public Hearing on the 2011-2012 Executive Budget Proposal – Human Services. Submitted by Carolyn Boldiston, FPI’s Senior Fiscal Policy Analyst. Includes: a review of New York State’s recent public assistance caseload history, a review of New York’s historical utilization of the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant, a review of the impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of February 2009 on TANF funding and spending in New York State, and recommendations for the 2011-2012 state fiscal year.

April 2, 2010.  Testimony at the Joint Legislative Public Hearing on the 2010-2011 Executive Budget Proposal – Human Services. Presented by Carolyn Boldiston, FPI’s Senior Fiscal Policy Analyst. Includes: a review of New York’s historical utilization of the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant, an analysis of the impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of February 2009 on TANF funding and spending in New York State, a brief review of child care subsidies in New York State, and recommendations for the 2010-2011 state fiscal year. (This is a revised version of testimony originally delivered on February 10, 2010.)

A Balanced Approach to Closing State Deficits

February 25, 2011. Most states are heading into their fourth year of fiscal crisis facing severe revenue shortfalls that require closing huge deficits. The choices states make about how to close those deficits have serious implications both in the short and long term. States that rely solely or primarily on widespread budget cuts to close deficits are harming residents and businesses that need immediate assistance; they also are reducing demand in the economy and impeding their state’s economic recovery. This paper by Iris J. Lav and Dylan Grundman of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities discusses the challenges.

Cuomo’s austerity budget will kill N.Y. jobs: Why not tax the top 5% instead of slashing services?

February 24, 2011. An op ed by Frank Mauro and James Parrott, New York Daily News.

Testimony at the Joint Legislative Public Hearing on the 2011-2012 Executive Budget Proposal – Human Services

February 16, 2011. Testimony submitted by Carolyn Boldiston, FPI’s Senior Fiscal Policy Analyst. Her testimony includes: a review of New York State’s recent public assistance caseload history, a review of New York’s historical utilization of the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant, a review of the impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of February 2009 on TANF funding and spending in New York State, and recommendations for the 2011-2012 state fiscal year.

FPI responds to the Partnership report: Can New York Depend on a “Millionaire’s Tax” to Solve the Budget Crisis?

February 14, 2011. The personal income tax (PIT) surcharge should be continued. It is not onerous, and it is offset by federal tax cuts. Moreover, unemployment is projected to stay above 7 percent until 2014; budget cuts worsen unemployment and the adversity experienced by many families in a weak economy. New York needs a balanced approach to balancing the budget, one that looks also at the revenue side, rather than relying too heavily on the cutting side. Brief >>

Balancing the New York State Budget 2011-2012

February 14, 2011. This presentation – by Frank Mauro of the Fiscal Policy Institute and Ron Deutsch of New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness – was made at a budget briefing for legislators, staff and advocates. The briefing was sponsored by Growing Together NY, Strong Economy for All Coalition, AFL-CIO, AFSCME NY, ATU, CSEA, CWA District 1, NYSUT, PEF, SEIU Local 32BJ, TWU, and UFT.

New York State’s Economic and Fiscal Outlook for 2011-2012

February 8, 2011. The Fiscal Policy Institute’s 21st annual budget briefing. Briefing book on the 2011-2012 executive budget>>

Make Wall Street Pay

February 7, 2011. An op ed by James Parrott, New York Times. Part of “Room for Debate” – Will City Pensions Be Cut?

Larry Mishel, Harvey Rosenthal

February 3, 2011. Given the apparent trend around the country of governors (especially newly elected governors) mounting significant attacks on labor unions, Larry Mishel, president of the Economic Policy Institute, will discuss the historical context of relationships between public sector unions and their government employers.

Harvey Rosenthal, executive director of the New York State Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services, will also be on the show to talk about Governor Andrew Cuomo’s ambitious Medicaid redesign process and the implications of that process for New Yorkers with disabilities.

Statement from the Fiscal Policy Institute on the proposed Executive Budget 2011-2012

February 1, 2011. The budget proposed today by the Governor places relies excessively on spending cuts, which increase unemployment and intensify hardships for those bearing the brunt of the recession. Meanwhile, a privileged group has profited tremendously from New York’s economic growth over the past two decades, and from Wall Street’s recent resurgence; the richest one percent of New Yorkers now receive 35 percent of all income in the state, while they pay a lower state and local tax burden than middle- and low-income state residents. Budget austerity will not put New Yorkers back to work. Full statement >>

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