Economic Security & Opportunity

An Agenda for a Better New York: Modernizing New York’s Unemployment Insurance System

June 2000. A new report by Jennifer McCormick and Trudi Renwick. Executive summary below; also see full report.

On the last day of the 1998 Legislative Session, a significant Unemployment Insurance (UI) reform bill was passed by both houses of the legislature and later signed into law by Governor Pataki. This wide-ranging bill addressed many aspects of the UI program: employer tax rates, the taxable wage base, the maximum benefit amount, seasonal employers and individual eligibility. A more limited … (read more)

Sponsors and speakers to call for systematic reform of New York’s $2.6 billion Corporate Welfare program

Forum on Corporate Welfare and Corporate Accountability to be held in Troy at 7 pm on Wednesday, May 3, 2000.

For more information, contact Mark Dunlea at 518-434-7371 or Frank Mauro at 518-786-3156.

The Fair Budget Campaign will be conducting a forum on Corporate Welfare and Accountability on Wednesday, May 3rd at 7:00 PM at the First United Presbyterian Church, 1915 5th Avenue, Troy (2 blocks east of the Uncle Sam Atrium). The event is co-sponsored by Troy Area United … (read more)

Street Addict

The city is less dependent on the stock market than in ’87, right? Wrong. Almost 20 percent of the city’s income is made on Wall Street — which could mean catastrophe in a crash.

BY DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK

When the long-running bull market took a week off in the middle of April, many New Yorkers couldn’t help indulging in a little schadenfreude. After all, the Internal Revenue Service reports that 75 percent of the capital gains earned during the … (read more)

Robin Hood in reverse

May 1, 2000. An editorial in the Albany Times-Union:

New York state is taking federal welfare money to pay for middle-class subsidies

It’s been a while since a welfare scandal made headlines. Something like a welfare mother driving a Cadillac or someone collecting checks under several different names used to make for such easy political points. All that stopped, ostensibly, when President Clinton and Congress made good on their determination to end welfare as we once knew it.

Misuse … (read more)

Federal Welfare Windfall Frees New York Money for Other Uses

April 23, 2000. Raymond Hernandez reporting for the New York Times quotes FPI’s Frank Mauro.

In the four years since the overhaul of the nation’s welfare laws, New York has taken at least $1 billion given to it by the federal government for new antipoverty programs and used it instead to indirectly finance huge tax cuts and other programs that appeal to middle-class voters, according to government and private estimates.

The budgetary switch has been employed by other states, prompting … (read more)

Inside the New State Budget: A Welfare Slush Fund

April 17, 2000. An update from City Limits Weekly (No. 224), New York’s urban affairs news magazine. Reported by Annia Ciezadlo.

Add a new one to the list of behavioral changes wrought by welfare reform: the TANF land grab. Since the old welfare program was replaced with the more flexible Temporary Assistance to Needy Families block grant in 1997, and since declining welfare rolls have left a hefty surplus of unspent funds, states have been using this cash much more … (read more)

Catholic Conference opposes TANF ‘raid’

April 12, 2000. A story by Jamie D. Gilkey in the Troy Record.

In the midst of efforts to reach a final deal on the state budget, opposition grew Tuesday to a proposal that would use more than $100 million originally intended to aid poor families to supplement the wages of health care workers.

Among the new critics of the plan is the New York State Catholic Conference, which The Record has learned sent a letter to all state … (read more)

Critics call plan ‘raid’

April 11, 2000. A story by Jamie D. Gilkey in the Troy Record. FPI’s Frank Mauro is quoted.

With state budget negotiations making rapid headway towards a final agreement, a proposal that initially would have diverted $165 million from a fund meant to help welfare recipients is running into resistance from a scattered group of health care and community activists, according to information obtained by The Record.

Sources  say that negotiators for the state Senate presented a scaled-down version … (read more)

Head of Congressional welfare reform panel tells all 50 Governors it’s essential that states use their TANF resources and use them wisely

Early in 1999, U.S. Representative Nancy L. Johnson (R-CT), chair of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources, which has jurisdiction over TANF, sent a letter to the governors of all 50 states urging them to spend more of their TANF funds or risk having Congress take some portion back. This warning was made more concrete by several congressional attempts later in 1999 to rescind some unspent TANF funds. Fortunately, from the perspective of the states and from… (read more)

How Much Additional TANF Spending Can New York Afford?

March 27, 2000. New from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and specific to New York:

How Much Additional TANF Spending Can New York Afford? New York Can Increase Use of TANF Funds While Maintaining A Rainy Day Reserve

Early in 1999, Congresswoman Nancy Johnson, chair of the Human Resources subcommittee of the Ways and Means committee, sent a letter to all governors that urged them to spend more of their TANF funds or risk having Congress take some … (read more)