New Americans on Long Island: A Vital Sixth of the Economy

March 21, 2012, Rockville Centre. A briefing and discussion on the Fiscal Policy Institute’s recent report. Participants learned about the economic impact of immigrants on Long Island’s economy: facts, questions, and dialogue. Hosted by The Energeia Partnership & Health & Welfare Council of Long Island.

The Governor’s Proposed Budget: Continued Scarce Funding for Women, Families and Youth in a Weak Recovery

March 21, 2012. With a weak recovery, unemployment remains high and hardships have mounted for many New York City women, families and youth. Prepared for the New York Women’s Foundation, this brief finds that three years of state budget cuts have frayed the safety net during a time of growing need, making it harder for low-income women to access income and job supports as well as vital supportive services, and to secure jobs with a future. The governor’s proposed budget makes further cuts in many human service areas and fails to make up lost ground in areas hit hard by cuts in recent years.

What’s happening with temporary assistance for New York State’s neediest families?

March 19, 2012. A modest increase in the basic allowance is scheduled for July 1, 2012. The Assembly has proposed implementing the increase as scheduled. The Senate, on the other hand, has proposed eliminating it completely. This brief finds that even with the increase, the public assistance grant is less than half the federal poverty threshold in fifty-five counties – and just 50 to 53 percent of the threshold in the other seven counties. Moreover, New York was recently awarded $40.7 million in additional federal TANF Contingency Fund awards. This funding could be used to fully implement the scheduled grant increase without delay and with virtually no additional cost to the state or to local governments this year.

Counterbudget: Putting People First, Budget Issues that Need Attention

March 19, 2012. The Counterbudget was compiled by New Yorkers from Fiscal Fairness with input from FPI and other cooperating organizations. Report and press release.

The New York State DREAM Act: A preliminary estimate of costs and benefits

March 9, 2012. The New York State DREAM Act would open the state’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) to all students who meet the funding criteria, irrespective of their immigration status. What would be the costs and benefits of this proposal? This brief is the latest release from FPI’s Immigration Research Initiative.

How much does the Tier 6 proposal reduce employee retirement benefits?

March 9, 2012. This brief quantifies the value of the reduction in retirement benefits to the typical member of the NYS Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) under the Tier 6 proposal, and finds that the proposal reduces the employee benefit by 39.8 percent.

Groups call on Governor Cuomo to drop transfer language from state budget

March 8, 2012. FPI and 16 other groups delivered a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo today asking him to drop language included hundreds of times in his executive budget proposal for 2012-2013. The language undercuts legislative authority and effectively removes the public from decisions regarding the use of taxpayer money by giving the Governor power to move money between state agencies without oversight. The language goes even further than that, authorizing suballocations from “on budget” state agencies to “off budget” public authorities. Press release >> Letter to Governor >>

The proposed New York City budget and its impact on low-income New Yorkers

March 6, 2012, Manhattan. The Economic Justice and Social Welfare Network at its monthly meeting hosted FPI’s James Parrott, who reviewed the projected impacts of the Mayor’s proposal, the interaction between the City and State executive budgets, and the economic factors affecting projected revenue, etc. Useful for anyone involved in city budget advocacy, or who wants to understand more about how funding for social programs fits in to a broader context. At the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies.

Briefing on Mayor Bloomberg’s Preliminary FY 2013 New York City Budget

March 6, 2012. Unemployment remains very high in this historically weak “recovery” in NYC, as across the country, and considerable hardships persist. In addition, NYS budget choices and pressures continue to squeeze NYC. The Mayor’s budget can only be described as austere: although needs have grown in the wake of the recession, NYC spending on human services funding has fallen by 10 percent. Income concentration has resumed, underscoring the need for progressive tax reform. NYC’s business tax expenditures have risen sharply; addressing several tax inequities could provide tax relief where most needed and strengthen the revenue base. Briefing >>

New tax cap in NY proves difficult for some towns in Ulster County, Northern Dutchess

March 4, 2012. An article by Patricia Doxsey, Kingston Daily Freeman.

“My position is the cap can hurt people, hurt services, and it doesn’t provide the public the relief it needs,” said Frank Mauro, executive director of the Fiscal Policy Institute.

“I think the problem is even if they can stay within the tax cap, it doesn’t mean a homeowner’s taxes will only go up by 2 percent,” Mauro said.

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