September 25, 2015. James Parrott testified before the New York City Council today regarding three resolutions calling on Congress and the President to take action to address the Puerto Rican fiscal-debt-economic crisis. The resolutions deal with the issues of bankruptcy authority, Federal health care financing, and amending the Jones Act that has significantly raised shipping costs to and from Puerto Rico. Parrott’s testimony discusses the importance of Federal action given the governance constraints imposed on Puerto Rico by its status … (read more)
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)
June 1, 2015. FPI played an important role in the efforts to convince the New York Fast Food Wage Board in June and July 2015 to recommend a $15 wage floor for 136,000 workers in large fast-food chains. FPI materials include the following:
June 5, 2015. James Parrott presented testimony to the New York State Department of Labor Wage Board hearing on increasing the minimum wage in the fast-food industry.
Fast-food is a highly profitable and fast-growing industry. Fast-food employment has risen across New York, adding significantly to the growing problem of low-wages that are far from adequate in allowing a worker to meet basic family budget needs. A significant portion of fast-food workers are trying to raise families, but more than two … (read more)
February 9, 2015. Executive Director Ron Deutsch testified before the Senate Finance and Assembly Ways and Means Committees on the Governor’s 2015-2016 Proposed Budget and Financial Plan.
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Budget proposal takes some positive steps forward in clearly acknowledging, for the first time in his tenure, the incredible child poverty and income inequality that exist in our generally affluent state and recognizing the need to give greater property tax relief to those who need it most rather than … (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)
June 2, 2014. FPI’s James Parrott submitted testimony for the June 2 New York State Senate Labor Committee hearing on several minimum wage-related bills, including five bills that would authorize local governments to enact minimum wages above the statewide level, and one bill that would establish a statewide “living wage” of $15 an hour, indexed to inflation, for certain large employers and chain stores. The FPI testimony reviewed several reasons why it makes sense for New York State to authorize … (read more)
April 30, 2014. In testimony presented before the New York City Council, FPI’s James Parrott reviewed several reasons why it makes sense for New York State to authorize cities and counties to establish higher minimum wage levels than the statewide minimum. Parrott’s testimony cited data showing that there are wide disparities across counties within the state in terms of the local cost of living, and that there is a similar wide disparity in median wage levels, particularly between New … (read more)
Testimony: NYC School Bus Industry in the Aftermath of the Removal of Employee Protection Provisions from Contracts
March 27, 2014. James Parrott testified at a New York City Council oversight hearing looking at the effects of removing job security protections from the City school bus contracts. The previous administration set in motion a contract re-bidding process that stripped school bus drivers, matrons and mechanics of job security protections. That action has already led to the bankruptcy of a large school bus company in the middle of the school year and threatens to further unsettle the industry on … (read more)
February 27, 2014. In testimony presented before the New York City Council Civil Service and Labor Committee, FPI’s James Parrott summarized several employment, wage and cost of living trends affecting low-wage workers in New York City. He noted that 37 percent of all wage-earners in the city are paid less than $15 an hour, and that half of all black and Latino workers are low-wage by this measure. Parrott discussed several groups of low-wage workers and suggested policy steps the … (read more)