2018

Ethics Measures Stall in Albany Despite Corruption Convictions

July 18, 2018. With the wave of unprecedented public corruption scandals and criminal convictions in New York State government, it would make sense for a wave of accountability and ethics reform to follow. That is not the case. Governor Cuomo and legislators have failed to adopt any of the ethics reforms called for by government watchdog groups, including toughening oversight of state contracts, eliminating a loophole that allows companies to ignore campaign-contribution limits, and appointing an independent monitor for ethics … (read more)

Cuomo’s $10B Economy ‘Boost’ Results in Broken Promises

July 15, 2018. Since the Governor took office in 2011, the spending for economic development has increased significantly with dubious results. Several projects, which include the $15 Central New York Film Hub outside Syracuse and the Buffalo Billion revitalization plan, among others, have failed considerably and only exposed the major corruption in New York state government. With the outcome of the bid-rigging trial of Alain Kaloyeros hanging over our state government and a failure to pass accountability and transparency legislation … (read more)

NY is “Ripe for Abuse,” Critics Say After Convictions In Kaloyeros Corruption Trial

July 12, 2018. This articles discusses the outcome of the bid-rigging trial, reaction from the Governor and good government watchdog groups who have long pushed to end the corruption in Albany. The outcome of the trial saw the conviction of Alain Kaloyeros, former SUNY Polytechnic Institute President, and two other COR Development executives and a Buffalo building developers. While the Governor dismissed the trial’s outcome, saying that fraud should not be tolerated, government watchdog groups, including the Fiscal Policy Institute, … (read more)

State Economic Development Changes? Not From Albany

June 30, 2018. This article discusses the failure of the New York State Legislature to pass the package of economic development accountability and transparency reform bills during the legislative session.

It appears no one outside Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration is pleased with the Democrat’s economic development policies, except for the recipients of some of the billions of dollars in taxpayer funds awarded each year to boost employment.

The criticism comes from the left and the right, from conservative think tanks … (read more)

Op-Ed: Don’t Jump After Janus: Why Public Workers Should Stick With Their Unions

June 28, 2018. The following op-ed about the Supreme Court ruling on Janus vs. AFSCME written by FPI’s senior economist, Brent Kramer; deputy director, David Kallick; and chief economist, Jonas Shaende, was featured in the NY Daily News. 

The recent Supreme Court ruling in Janus vs. AFSCME poses a real threat to public sector unions. Traditionally, in New York — as in many other states — everyone covered by a union contract was required to pay either dues or an … (read more)

Brief: Strong Public Employees’ Unions in New York: Better Pay, Benefits, and Working Conditions for All 

June 27, 2018.

By: Brent Kramer, David Dyssegaard Kallick, and Jonas Shaende

The Supreme Court’s ruling today about public sector unions puts a significant new barrier in front of unions around the country. Traditionally, in New York—as in many other states—everyone covered by a union contract was required to pay either dues or an “agency fee” to support the union’s work on behalf of all employees. In the Janus decision, the Supreme Court ruled that public-sector employees can’t be compelled … (read more)

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)