2014

De Blasio Pulls Off Deft Budget-Balancing Parlay

May 19, 2014. In this op-ed in The Chief, James Parrott discusses Mayor de Blasio’s Executive Budget and the impact of the UFT labor settlement.… (read more)

Statement on New York City Budget Accounting Action

May 12, 2014. Today’s joint announcement by Mayor de Blasio and Comptroller Stringer clarifies a City budget accounting question regarding an obligation the City incurred in connection with the recent labor settlement with the United Federation of Teachers.  The payments in question pertain to UFT members retiring after June 30, 2014 and cover wage increases for the first two years (2009 and 2010) of the recently settled contract.

Officials of both the Mayor’s and the Comptroller’s offices have confirmed that … (read more)

Another View on Mayor de Blasio’s FY 2015 New York City Executive Budget

May 9, 2014. Understandably, much of the commentary on Mayor de Blasio’s FY 2015 Executive Budget has dealt with the financial impact of the recent UFT contract if applied across the entire 350,000-person unionized city workforce.  It is, afterall, by far the most significant labor deal in City history, potentially affecting the entire workforce for 7 years, and 150,000 of those workers for an additional two years going back to 2009 and 2010.

Some observers can’t quite grasp that Bill … (read more)

The Significance of the TWU and UFT Labor Contracts

May 7, 2014.

This commentary by FPI’s James Parrott on the new New York City labor contracts was requested by CUNY’s Joseph S. Murphy Institute and appears on their new blog.

For the first time in nearly five years, major labor agreements were recently reached covering public sector workers in New York City. On April 17, Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 100 concluded a new 5-year contract dating from January 2012 covering 34,000 workers at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), … (read more)

Testimony on Local Government Minimum Wage Authority

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)

Parrott-Brecher Debate on NYC Municipal Contracts

April 25, 2014. Negotiations are underway to settle New York City municipal contracts, almost all of which have been expired for four or more years. Pattern bargaining has long been the norm in the City, but about one-third of the City’s 300,000 unionized workers, including teachers and nurses, never received raises from the last round. FPI’s James Parrott engaged in a spirited on-line debate discussing the topic “What can the City Afford?” during the week of April 21 with Charles … (read more)

Arizona Law on Immigration Spooks Business Leaders-FPI in Huffington Post

April 16, 2014. FPI’s David Dyssegaard Kallick wrote an op-ed for the Huffington Post, reporting on how Arizona business leaders see the economic impacts of the state’s “Show Me Your Papers” law. It may be hard to statistically measure the economic impact of the bill, widely perceived as anti-immigrant, argues Kallick. But a good gauge of the damage done is how serious the state’s business leaders have been about efforts to turn the anti-immigrant perception around. And, Kallick says, … (read more)

Corning and MasterCard Paid .6% in State Taxes

April 14, 2014. As New York struggles with tough budget decisions about essential public services, profitable Fortunate 500 companies like Corning, MasterCard, Lowes and Consolidated Edison are paying 2% or less in state income taxes for 2012 thanks to copious loopholes, lavish giveaways and crafty accounting. The recently passed state budget did nothing to close these loopholes and this will continue the unlevel playing field where the rich are able to take advantage of the system.

90 Reasons We Need (read more)

New York State Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2014-2015

February 4, 2014. In its 24th annual New York State budget briefing, the Fiscal Policy Institute reviews the major spending and tax reduction proposals contained in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2014-15 Executive Budget.

FPI’s briefing provides a critical assessment of four fundamental assumptions that shape the proposed budget and state fiscal projections for the following three years. These assumptions deal with the preferred size of New York government, the optimal growth rate of state spending, the potential for budget savings … (read more)

Case Studies Examine Shale Drilling’s Mixed Legacy

April 11, 2014.  New case studies of the impact of shale gas drilling in Carroll County, Ohio; Greene and Tioga counties in Pennsylvania; and Wetzel County, West Virginia, provide numerous cautionary tales for New York as it considers whether or not to allow Horizontal Drilling and High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing in the Marcellus Shale and Other Low-Permeability Gas Reservoirs.

The case studies, which were completed by the Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia organizations that are part of the Multi-State (read more)