Must Read

New York Must Act Now to Support Excluded Workers

Workers and families left without support for months  

Read the full report: Unemployment Compensation for Excluded Workers: Helping New Yorkers, Boosting the Local Economy

(Albany, NY) State unemployment benefits were expanded in significant ways for most New Yorkers who lost their jobs during the pandemic. However, tens of thousands of New York workers and their families were left adrift without federal or state assistance. The Fiscal Policy Institute’s new report shows that our state can act to create and fund … (read more)

Legislators Unite for People-Centered Recovery

One hundred New York State Senate and Assembly members, along with statewide unions, the Fiscal Policy Institute, and the Strong Economy for All Coalition, called for no state budget cuts without raising revenue. The coalition has released a signed statement of principles calling for a balanced state tax policy where everyone pays their fair share and a post-pandemic economic recovery plan centered on the best engine for recovery – individual New Yorkers and their communities.

Read the full statement here.(read more)

The Fiscal Policy Institute’s Three-Point Plan for Re-Building New York

 May 27, 2020. The Fiscal Policy Institute today warned state legislators and the governor that New York’s financial and social woes will only worsen if they attempt to return to an austerity budget model. The pandemic’s public health crisis and subsequent economic downturn deepened an existing budget shortfall and with the deficit projected to be at least $13 billion, the state faces an extraordinary fiscal challenge. There is no simple solution to this crisis which will require bold innovation from … (read more)

Local Government Reliance on Fines and Fees to Raise Revenues Hurts Residents and Communities

Across New York State, fines and associated fees are relied upon by local governments as a source of local revenue. Decreased aid from the state coupled with the 2-percent property tax cap, which was enacted in 2011 and restricts annual property tax increases to the lesser of 2-percent or the rate of inflation, has led to decreased revenues for local jurisdictions. To make up for budget shortfalls – which have worsened during COVID-19 – local governments may be tempted to … (read more)

Refugee Resettlement Agencies Are Providing Essential Services During COVID-19

Now more than ever, refugee resettlement agencies are providing essential services to refugees and also to a number of other community members, to help protect everyone during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior to the pandemic, the Fiscal Policy Institute showed how refugee resettlement agencies are anchor institutions in their communities, providing services for some of the most vulnerable community members, jobs for local residents, and a productive use for buildings that in some cases might otherwise be vacant. The importance … (read more)

New York’s Unemployment System Depends on Continued Federal Assistance

May 11, 2020

Following the Great Recession, New York’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund only achieved a positive fund balance for the first time in fiscal year 2016. On January 1, 2020, the balance stood at $2.65 billion, but the fund was nearing insolvency according to a report by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic mitigation began eight weeks ago, over 1.7 million New York residents have filed for unemployment, which is roughly 5 percent of the nation’s … (read more)

New York Can Do More for All New Yorkers, Regardless of Immigration Status, Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

April 29, 2020.

In response to the economic and health hardships that the COVID-19 pandemic has created for individuals and families, state and federal governments have created relief programs to provide financial, safety and medical assistance. However, these relief programs do not apply to everyone. Many programs exclude undocumented immigrants who have also been laid off from jobs due to nonessential business closures. Undocumented immigrants are also experiencing the same financial and health hardships that the rest of us experience, … (read more)

Undocumented and Unemployed

Orders for non-essential workers to stay at home and the ripple effects of the coronavirus have been felt throughout the New York economy. Over one million New Yorkers have filed for unemployment insurance since the middle of March when the coronavirus impact was first felt.

Yet, one group is left behind by both the state’s existing unemployment insurance system and the federal government’s temporary enhancements to that system: undocumented immigrants. There are an estimated 530,000 undocumented immigrants in the New … (read more)

Fines and Fees: Raising Revenue at the Community’s Expense

As New York State looks toward restarting the economy in the wake of COVID-19, a new report from the Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI) warns local governments not to rush to build revenue through the use of fines and fees – a long-standing, inequitable source of funding primarily drawn from low-income communities and communities of color.

Between 2010 and 2017, 31 city governments, out of 62, in New York State reported an increase in expected fine revenue in their annual budgets, … (read more)

Report: Spotlight on NY’s Essential Workers

The coronavirus crisis has put a new focus on “essential workers,”  people who are bringing deliveries to our homes, working in supermarkets and convenience stores, keeping the public transportation system functioning, providing social services and childcare, and working in the healthcare industry.

These essential workers have always played a critical role in keeping our communities running. At a time when many streets are eerily empty, however, we can see all the more clearly who is still out there making sure … (read more)