Economic Security & Opportunity

Testimony: The Establishment of a New York City Retirement Security Board

June 23, 2015. James Parrott testified at a New York City Council Committee on Civil Service and Labor on the establishment of a New York City Retirement Security Board. The case for a retirement security fund and program for private-sector workers can be summed up as follows: New York City’s population is aging, many private sector workers do not have employer-provided retirement coverage, and our tax system rewards those who have employer-provided retirement coverage but does relatively little to help … (read more)

Op-ed: De Blasio’s welfare reform correction: Critics who claim we’re sliding back to the bad old are blind to reality

March 27, 2015. An op-ed by James Parrott, Daily News.

Some see the slight increase in New York City’s welfare rolls in recent months as cause for alarm, warning that we are on an inevitable slide back to bad old days of chronic government dependency.

In fact, the uptick reflects a long overdue policy correction. Changes underway are about making temporary assistance “a leg up and not a hand out,” which is exactly what welfare should be.

Far from … (read more)

Comparison of the Executive, Assembly, and Senate Education Proposals FY 2015-2016

March 24, 2015. The governor’s Executive Budget proposal would increase school aid by $1.07 billion. The increase in school aid is contingent on passage of a package of changes to teacher evaluation, tenure, and other procedures called the Education Opportunity Agenda. The budget also includes an Education Tax Credit which would provide a large credit for donations to schools and the Dream Act which would provide tuition assistance to undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children. The Assembly’s … (read more)

Policy Brief: Schools and Poverty

March 17, 2015. The state can improve low-performing schools and help students who face learning barriers by increasing funding for key education programs and poverty-fighting efforts. Proposals by the governor and the legislature are a start, but still fall short of what is needed.

In a report issued in February, the state identified 178 schools in 17 school districts as “priority” or “failing” schools. These schools score in the bottom 5 percent in student proficiency tests or have low graduation … (read more)

Policy Brief: Education Tax Credit

March 2, 2015. The Executive Budget includes an Education Tax Credit (ETC) that would provide individuals and businesses with a substantial credit against income taxes owed for donations to private and public schools, or scholarship organizations. The governor’s legislation proposes a 75 percent credit rate, with individual credit amounts capped at $1 million. Any unused credit could be carried over to a subsequent year. Both businesses and individuals would be eligible to receive the credit on personal or corporate income … (read more)

Testimony at the Joint Legislative Public Hearing on the 2015-2016 Executive Budget – Human Services

February 4, 2015. Submitted by Elizabeth McNichol, FPI Senior Fellow. Testimony includes: recommendations for the 2015-2016 state fiscal year; a summary and analysis of actual and proposed reductions in Human Services spending; use of federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funding in the 2015-2016 Executive Budget; and, the impact of decline in the purchasing power of the monthly cash assistance grant.… (read more)

The Shale Tipping Point: The Relationship of Shale Drilling to Crime, Traffic Fatalities, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, and Rents in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio

December 14, 2014. A report completed by a research team of the Multi-State Shale Research Collaborative found a clear relationship between the density of shale well drilling activity and increases in crime, rents, traffic fatalities and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). These key “quality of life” issues had been identified in prior work by the Collaborative and in the work of others as having a potential relationship with intensive extractive industry “booms.”

To examine this relationship, the Pennsylvania research team divided … (read more)

42% of NYC residents don’t have enough income to cover the basic necessities of a Self-Sufficiency budget, according to a new report.

December 2, 2014. According to the new 2014 edition of the Self-Sufficiency Standard for NYC, released today by the Women’s Center for Education and Career Advancement at a forum at the New School, the cost of a basic family budget in New York City has increased by 45% since 2000 while the median earnings of adults increased by only 17% over the past 14 years. The report, Overlooked and Undercounted: the Struggle to Make Ends Meet in New York City(read more)

Hundreds of thousands of low-income families would benefit from a New York minimum wage increase

July 17, 2014. David Neumark’s piece in the July 6 Wall Street Journal (“Who Really Gets the Minimum Wage?”) argues that because some low-wage earners are in high-income families, increasing the minimum wage isn’t a very effective way to reduce poverty. In particular, he cites research to the effect that “if we were to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 nationally, 18% of the benefits of the higher wages (holding employment fixed) would go to poor families [but] 29% would … (read more)

Parrott Presentation: Confronting New York City’s Retirement Crisis

June 17, 2014. The New York City Central Labor Council and the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis at The New School sponsored a June 17 conference, Confronting New York City’s Retirement Crisis. FPI’s James Parrott made one of the opening presentations at the conference. Other speakers included State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, and New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, as well as leading labor union officials, union pension experts, and academic and … (read more)