Potential Trump Refugee Cutback Could Affect Buffalo

September 28, 2017. In this article the author discusses President Trump’s expected plan to cut the refugee cap to 45,000, the lowest cap since September 11, 2011. The author argues that the population and economy of Buffalo will be greatly impacted. The author notes how refugees have helped reverse population decline in Buffalo, as well as helped the economy grow through business ownership, job creation and a boost in real estate prices. The author also notes that refugee resettlement agencies will be negatively impacted and will have to lay off more employees. Many do not know what the future hold for Buffalo if this refugee cap is implemented.

Experts familiar with population trends in Buffalo said Trump’s decision could be costly to Buffalo in another way.

“There’s a big difference between gaining population and losing population, and for Buffalo, this could be that difference,” said David D. Kallick, director of the immigration policy initiative at the Fiscal Policy Institute, an Albany think tank.

Buffalo has been losing population for decades. But the city’s population has almost stabilized in recent years, thanks in large part to an influx of refugees and other immigrants.

Now that’s less likely thanks to Trump’s decision, said Kallick, who has studied the impact of refugee resettlement in Buffalo.

Here is the link to The Buffalo News.

Senior Budget and Policy Analyst

The Senior Budget and Policy Analyst will lead work in a range of policy areas of importance to the Fiscal Policy Institute. He or she will produce timely, comprehensible, and reliable research. A central part of the job will be leading FPI’s research analyzing state budget proposals in real time every January to April. The right candidate will have strong policy analysis skills, will work well independently and in teams, and will be able to communicate information effectively to diverse audiences. Like all FPI staff, the right candidate for this position will have a commitment to reversing the extraordinary racial and economic disparities in wages, income, and opportunity in our communities, and will have a desire to focus on the role state and local governments can play in improving conditions for all New Yorkers.

This is a senior-level position and will be part of the leadership team of FPI. The right candidate will have at least 10 years of experience, and will receive a pay and benefits package to reflect that experience.

For a full job description please go to:  http://fiscalpolicy.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Senior-Budget-and-Policy-Analyst.docx.

NY Outraged Over Startup That Wants to Replace Bodegas

September 13, 2017. This article discusses the outrage of New Yorkers over a new business that would put vending machines in apartment buildings stocked with convenience store items. New Yorkers feel that using the Hispanic term “Bodega” as the name for the business is problematic.

Fast Company via Twitter screenshot “Why are you using the Hispanic name – why are you doing that?” he said. Now a new startup aims to make buying convenience store items a little more convenient for some, while effectively eroding neighborhood cornerstones. Their business: to put sleeker vending machines in apartment and office buildings as well as dorms.
Former Google employees Paul McDonald and Ashwath Rajan have developed a concept called Bodega, which stocks corner store goods without the corner store charm.
“When you think of NY neighborhoods, you think about the stores and restaurants and groceries”, said David Dyssegaard Kallick, a senior fellow at the institute – a union-supported, nonpartisan research and advocacy group.
If you live in New York City or other major cities in the country, you’ve probably been to a bodega, local market or corner store. “It’s disrespecting all the mom-and-pop bodega owners that started these businesses in the ’60s and ’70s.”


Here is the link to Alive for Football.

David Dyssegaard Kallick Participates in Newsmakers Panel on Stakes for New Yorkers in the 2017 City Elections

September 13, 2017. On September 8, there was a panel that discussed the 2017 mayoral and City Council election that was organized by the Center for Community and Ethnic Media at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. FPI’s David Dyssegaard Kallick, Deputy Director and Director of Immigration Research, joined the host Errol Louis, Professor Christina Greer from Fordham University, Christian González-Rivera from the Center for an Urban Future, and Stephen Witt from Kings County Politics to discuss health and immigration and other topics related to the election.

To watch a video of the panel discussion, click here.

Ellen Teller and Ron Deutsch Discuss Impact from Budget Cuts on Social Services

September 12, 2017. Activists gathered in Albany on Monday to discuss the impact of budget cuts on social services. Ellen Teller, Director of Government Affairs at the Food Research and Action Center, and Ron Deutsch, Executive Director of the Fiscal Policy Institute, broke down the impact it would have on New York and the nation.

Access to the full podcast can be found HERE.

More Than 100 NY Groups Urge Congress to Reject Budget Cuts

September 8, 2017. More than 100 nonprofit human services organizations from across the state are calling on legislators to reject proposed federal cuts to social services programs. Organizations from Buffalo to Binghamton to Brooklyn signed on to letters that were sent to New York’s Congressional delegation, warning that these cuts would devastate core public services that provide New Yorkers in need with vital support.

Link for FPI’s press release for the letter

Link to the Wall Street Journal

Link to the Associated Press

Link to radio interview with the Capital Pressroom featuring Ron Deutsch, Executive Director of the Fiscal Policy Institute and Allison Sesso, Executive Director of the Human Services Council

Fiscal Policy Institute Raises the Alarm About Cassidy-Graham Bill

September 8, 2017. This article discusses the potential devastating consequences of passing the Cassidy-Graham bill, new legislation that repeals and replaces the Affordable Care Act (ACA) like previous efforts made by Congressional Republicans. The bill would cut New York’s federal funding by $22 billion for health coverage by 2026, according to a new report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities based in Washington DC. New York would be the hardest-hit state, with an eye-popping estimated cut of 70 percent in 2026, relative to current law.

You may not have heard of the Cassidy-Graham bill but the Fiscal Policy Institute has and they are worried. The measure, being proposed in Congress, would be a slimmed down, or mini-version of President Trump’s Obamacare repeal effort that blew up earlier in the summer.

The labor-backed FPI notes that the measure would, if it passes, lead to sharp Medicaid funding reductions for states like New York.

There’s no indication that passage and signing of the bill is imminent but the FPI’s response may indicate some of the Whack A Mole activities that are ongoing surrounding the fate of the Affordable Care Act AKA Obamacare.

Here is the link to The Times Union.


Report Warns Latest Health Care Bill Would Cost NY $22 Billion

September 8, 2017. This articles discusses a new Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal bill would cut New York’s federal funding by $22 billion for health coverage by 2026, according to a new report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities based in Washington DC. New York would be the hardest-hit state, with an eye-popping estimated cut of 70 percent in 2026.

A report released Thursday raised concerns over the loss of federal funding that would hit New York if the latest measure to overhaul the Affordable Care Act is approved.

All told, the legislation would cost $22 billion in funding to New York from the federal government for health care coverage by 2026, according to the report released by the Washington-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

The report was highlighted by the left-leaning Fiscal Policy Institute. The FPI is concerned that, in part, the new measure is being framed as a bipartisan fix to the ACA.

“Despite claims to the contrary, the Cassidy-Graham plan is just another ACA repeal bill and would have the same devastating effects on New York as the previous, failed GOP repeal bills,” said Ron Deutsch, the executive director of the Fiscal Policy Institute. “Like every other ACA repeal bill, it would take coverage from hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and tens of millions nationwide.”

Of particular concern is the measure would curtail the Medicaid expansion under the ACA and eliminate tax credits that aid low-to-moderate income New Yorkers.

“The public, experts across the political spectrum, and groups representing patients, hospitals, physicians, seniors, people with disabilities and others have forcefully and repeatedly rejected this misguided approach,” said Deutsch. “It’s time to focus on bipartisan solutions that strengthen – rather than weaken—our health care system.”

Here is the link to NY State Of Politics.

More Than 100 New York Nonprofits Call on NYS Legislators to Reject Proposed Federal Budget Cuts


September 8, 2017

Media Contact:
Ron Deutsch, Executive Director, FPI



 Coalition Highlights Devastating Impact of Cuts on New York Families


Read the Letter Here

More than 100 nonprofit human services organizations from across the state are calling on legislators to reject proposed federal cuts to social services programs. Organizations from Buffalo to Binghamton to Brooklyn signed on to letters that were sent to New York’s Congressional delegation, warning that these cuts would devastate core public services that provide New Yorkers in need with vital support.

The 2018 budget resolution passed by the House Budget Committee in July would force billions of dollars of cuts to programs that help New Yorkers put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads. The budget includes a historical disinvestment in programs serving low and moderate-income people like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid, Workforce Development, Housing, and the Earned Income and Child Tax Credits.

The coalition of nonprofit organizations lays out a commonsense, three-pronged approach that would ensure budgetary decisions are made with the best interests of all New Yorkers in mind. First a budget must not cut programs that help struggling families afford basic needs. Next, a budget must not allow cuts to assistance programs as a mechanism for offsetting tax cuts. Finally, any tax legislation must be revenue neutral, rather than deficit neutral.

The letter also calls on legislators to form bipartisan consensus to reverse the sequestration cuts that are set to be enacted in 2018. In previous years, legislators from both parties have come together to reduce harmful sequestration cuts. For this year’s budget, the human services organizations are requesting the elimination of these cuts.

“This deeply disturbing budget proposal would jeopardize the well-being of individuals and families across the country, while paving the way for massive tax cuts for the wealthy,” said Allison Sesso, Executive Director of the Human Services Council. “We all thrive when our communities have access to fundamental services. Now more than ever, we need our elected officials to stand up and protect these core public services by crafting a budget that reflects New York’s best values.”

“Our members of Congress need to understand that providing tax cuts to the wealthiest while cutting services to those that need them the most is a recipe for disaster for both our country and our state,” stated Ron Deutsch, Executive Director of the Fiscal Policy Institute. “These devastating cuts would result in massive reductions in services for the poorest New Yorkers and shift billions in costs to our state budget.”

“Slashing education, health, safety, and infrastructure investments, especially for Americans in need, to unprecedented low levels just to pay for tax cuts for the wealthiest is unconscionable,” said FPWA CEO and Executive Director Jennifer Jones Austin. “At a time when so much is at stake, the New York delegation must stand in opposition to the currently proposed budget and ensure that one reflective of our collective values is crafted to replace it.”

“The proposed budget cuts are a direct threat to the services that over 700,000 New Yorkers depend on settlement houses for,” said Susan Stamler, Executive Director of United Neighborhood Houses. “By supporting our NYC neighbors with programs such as education, job readiness, and citizenship, as well as building up our communities with services including public housing, rental assistance, and food access, settlement houses are doing their fair share in lifting up our neighbors. We need our government to do their fair share as well by investing in these programs.”

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Millionaire’s Mass Transit Tax Plan: Is It Fair?

September 1, 2017. In this op-ed, Frederick Floss discusses Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposal to raise the New York City’s income tax for individuals with an income over $500,000 and family incomes over $100,000 by 1.03%. Floss discusses the question of fairness that arises for those with higher incomes. He argues that there is an assumption that individuals in the higher income brackets do not benefit from the mass transit system. He argues that they do benefit because it will reduce congestion and help the workers get to work, which is good for business.

The only question on the fairness of this tax arises when looking at the benefit principle. Do those at the upper income levels benefit from the city’s mass transit system and will the improvements in infrastructure be greater for them than the costs. At first blush one might not think high income individuals use mass transit and therefore do not receive direct benefits from transit improvements. That would be short sighted.

First, a good mass transit system draws immigrants into the city increasing both the economy and the tax base. A 2016 study by the Fiscal Policy Institute showed New York City’s population would be over 3 million smaller without these immigrants most of who rely on mass transit. FPI further showed that immigrants pay more in taxes than they receive. Over time this means a lower tax burden, other things equal on all taxpayers.

Here is the link to Bloomberg BNA.

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