2018

Paid Sick Leave is a Good Thing

June 21, 2018. This article discusses the benefits of paid sick leave and how Albany county government can work on expanding paid leave benefits to more county workers.

While many employers in Albany County do offer paid sick leave, about 40 percent of employees living in Albany County do not get even a single day of paid sick leave, according to Ron Deutsch, executive director of the Fiscal Policy Institute, based in Albany.

First, there is a need for paid … (read more)

FPI joins Government and Budget Watchdogs to Call on Assembly Speaker Heastie to Allow Vote on Database of Deals and Comptroller’s Procurement Integrity Act

June 18, 2018. The Fiscal Policy Institute joined Citizens Budget Commission, Citizens Union, Common Cause NY, and Reinvent Albany in front of the Federal Courthouse in Manhattan to call on Assembly Speaker Heastie to Allow a vote on the Database of Deals and Comptroller’s Procurement Integrity Act.

FPI’s Chief Economist, Jonas Shaende gave the following remarks during the press conference this afternoon, “The lack of transparency and proper oversight enables corruption as is evidenced by these massive criminal trials. The … (read more)

Political Opponents Slam Cuomo on First Day of Corruption Trial of Governor’s Former Associates

June 18, 2018. This article and corresponding radio clip discusses the bid rigging trial of a former associate of Governor Cuomo and two upstate development firms, who are accused of fraudulently obtaining lucrative taxpayer-funded state contracts, and the currently stalled-in-the-Assembly package of accountability and transparency reform bills. Multiple reform groups, including the Fiscal Policy Institute, want the Assembly to pass the package and restore the State Comptroller’s authority over reviewing the economic development contracts, and enact a public database, known … (read more)

FPI Supports Calls to Protect SNAP

June 14, 2018. FPI’s Policy Analyst, Shamier Settle and Chief Economist, Jonas Shaende joined the Poor People’s Campaign and Rise & Resist at their rally against potential cuts to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

The House Agriculture Committee farm bill (H.R. 2) outlines cuts and discontinuation of SNAP benefits (formerly known as food stamps) for a substantial number of low-income Americans. This proposal contains $20 billion in cuts to the SNAP program and provisions for expanded work requirements. There is little … (read more)

Our View: Governor’s Aversion to Reforms is Telling

June 14, 2018. This article discusses the package of accountability and transparency economic development bills stalled in the Assembly. The measures do have bipartisan support among the rank-and-file in the Assembly and were already approved, overwhelmingly, in the Senate. However, Assembly leadership continues to sit on the bills in the hopes that Governor Cuomo will come to an agreement on their necessity.

Ronald Deutsch, director of the labor-backed Fiscal Policy Institute, which also supports the anti-corruption measures, also thinks Cuomo … (read more)

Cynthia Nixon Aims to Tax Wealthy to Pay for $7 Billion Education Plan

June 13, 2018. This article discusses how gubernatorial candidate, Cynthia Nixon, plans to raise taxes on high-earners and businesses to pay for her $7.4 billion education plan to expand access to college and boost spending on K-12 education. Multiple organizations, including the Fiscal Policy Institute, commented on her plans to raise taxes to pay for expanding education and mass transit throughout the state.

Jonas Shaende, chief economist at the left-leaning Fiscal Policy Institute, said he supported efforts to find … (read more)

In Albany, Nixon backs tax cap, but has plan to ease override procedure

June 8, 2018. This articles discusses how gubernatorial candidate, Cynthia Nixon, expressed her support for the two percent property tax cap and that overriding it should be easier if residents of a school district want to exceed that cap during an Albany meeting with school superintendents. Multiple organizations, including the Fiscal Policy Institute, weighed in during the meeting about the impact of tax cuts.

Before Nixon arrived, superintendents heard from state finance experts Frank Mauro and E.J. McMahon on how … (read more)

Anti-Corruption Bills Stalled in State Assembly

June 11, 2018. As the state legislative session wraps up in a few days, several bills related to expanding oversight of contracts and greater transparency over economic development projects remain stalled and have not made it to the Assembly floor despite their successful passage on the Senate floor several weeks ago. The Fiscal Policy Institute has long supported accountability and ethics reform for economic development projects in New York, especially in light of the recent bid-rigging scandals by top economic … (read more)

Groups Urge Economic Development Reform

June 8, 2018. Government reform groups are urging the New York State Assembly to pass two bills that have already been approved in the Senate that would reform New York’s economic development programs.

Ron Deutsch, with Fiscal Policy Institute, says the measures would increase transparency by creating a database of deals, listing details of all economic development projects that receive taxpayer money. Another bill would restore the state comptroller’s authority to independently review the projects.

Deutsch, making a football … (read more)

Attention Shifts to Assembly Hesitation on Accountability Bills Opposed by Cuomo

June 7, 2018. This article discusses the recently passed package of bills aimed at shedding light on taxpayer-funded economic development projects, among other reform measures. Good government watchdog groups including the Fiscal Policy Institute and Reinvent Albany have long supported economic development accountability reform, particularly in light of multiple scandals related to economic development projects.

A number of advocacy and watchdog groups are organizing a final push for the “database of deals” and clean-contracting legislation, including a rally calling on … (read more)