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.
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 the announcement is strictly an [...]
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 de Blasio pulled that off, [...]
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), most of whom work for [...]
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 Brecher of the Citizens Budget [...]
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 related to government consolidation, and the [...]
Comparison of Final 2014-2015 NYS Revenue Bill to earlier Executive, Assembly and Senate Budget Proposals
March 31, 2014. This brief compares the New York State Revenue Bill to earlier Executive, Assembly, and Senate tax proposals.
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 which the City relies to [...]
March 24, 2014. The 2014-2015 New York State Budget Tax Brief compares the tax proposals in the Assembly and Senate budget resolutions with those in the Executive Budget. The major proposals are analyzed and their impacts discussed.
Briefing on Mayor deBlasio’s Preliminary FY 2015 NYC Budget: Initial Progressive Steps, More to Come
March 11, 2014. In his review of NYC Mayor Bill deBlasio’s first budget, FPI’s James Parrott notes the new mayor’s progressive change in direction compared to prior City budgets. Not surprisingly, the major new initiative included in the Preliminary FY 2015 budget is full funding for the UPK/afterschool proposal scheduled for launch in the fall of 2014. The briefing summarizes trends in state and federal aid, and analyzes projections for tax revenue growth. Parrott describes the municipal labor contract situation as a challenge but not [...]
February 10, 2014. Executive Director Fred Floss testified before the Senate Finance and Assembly Ways and Means Committees on the Governor’s 2014-2015 Proposed Budget and Financial Plan. Floss noted the proposal for FY2015 is contractionary, since it cuts $2 billion in expenditures and only reduces taxes by $480 and will therefore be a drag on economic growth in New York State. He also commented on a number of tax proposals including the property tax freeze, corporate tax reductions and the estate tax proposal. If implemented, [...]
Testimony at the Joint Legislative Public Hearing on the 2014-2015 Executive Budget Proposal – Human Services
February 4, 2014. Submitted by Carolyn Boldiston, FPI’s Senior Fiscal Policy Analyst. Testimony includes: recommendations for the 2014-2015 state fiscal year; review of actual and proposed reductions in human services spending; use of federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funding in the 2014-2015 Executive Budget; and, the impact of decline in the purchasing power of the monthly cash assistance grant.
January 22, 2014. In his budget message, Governor Andrew Cuomo rightly touts his strong record of leadership in Albany. However, when it comes to the state budget, the governor’s approach is out of focus and falls far short in making the essential public investments to expand opportunities for the millions of New Yorkers in poverty or still struggling to pull away from the Great Recession of 2008-09. The question is whether the Governor’s approach to the budget is the right set of proposals for a [...]
Tax Reformers Urge Governor and Legislature to Take the Politics out of the Tax Debate—And Give the Public a Voice!
September 4, 2013. Statewide tax reform groups and activists from across New York State gathered at the State Capitol today to urge the Governor and the State Senate to “shed a little sunshine” on the tax reform debates that have left many New Yorkers “out in the cold.” The NYS Senate (through its Finance Committee, and its Investigations and Government Operations Committees) is holding “Invitation Only” hearings across the state to “Review Existing Tax Policy and Discuss Reform Initiatives” and the Governor’s Tax Reform and [...]
September 4, 2013. In testimony before the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and the Senate Committee on Investigations and Government Operations, Frank Mauro, FPI’s Executive Director, expressed support for a thorough review of the tax system from a number of perspectives. He indicated that back in December 2011, Governor Cuomo and the legislative leaders joined in calling for a thorough review of the fairness of the New York tax system and agreed that fairness is one important basis for evaluating the workings of any tax [...]