The Fiscal Policy Institute strongly supports S .8198A (Biaggi)/A.9100A (Gottfried) to create a more equitable balance of power within New York’s state government. As the legislation requires passage by both houses within two consecutive legislative sessions, FPI urges the senate and assembly to pass this legislation before August 3, 2020, and again in the 2021 - 2022 session so it can go before the voters in the 2021 fall election. The current provisions of the New York State Constitution, as interpreted by the Court of [...]
The Fiscal Policy Institute strongly supports the Billionaire Mark-to-Market Tax Act (S8277/A10414) that is expected to raise additional revenue for New York State to be used for multiple purposes, including supporting a fund that would provide weekly financial assistance to workers otherwise excluded from New York State Unemployment Insurance. Download the PDF.
March 8, 2017. In an op-ed, FPI’s David Dyssegaard Kallick and executive director of the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees, Shelly Callahan, argue that refugee resettlement is good for Utica's economic revitalization. Immigrants and refugees are already reversing population loss. Over the past 15 years, Utica finally turned around its population decline, stabilizing and even squeaking out a little bit of population growth, according to Census Bureau estimates. Look a little deeper, though, and you'll see a story about the importance of refugees and [...]
December 28, 2016. The following op-ed by James Parrott appeared in City & State New York on December 28, 2016. With President-elect Donald Trump and a newly empowered, Republican-dominated Congress soon taking control of the federal budget, the potential for substantial cuts in domestic spending poses gargantuan challenges for New York state and city budgets. Roughly $57 billion in federal dollars flow into our city and state budgets annually. Medicaid accounts for approximately $35 billion, with another $14 billion in categorical funds flowing to the [...]
December 11, 2016. This op-ed by Lorelei Salas and James Parrott appeared on crainsnewyork.com and in the December 12, 2016 print edition of Crain's New York Business. When the state's minimum wage rises to $11 an hour from $9 on Dec. 31, workers at New York City businesses with more than 10 employees will see the largest percentage minimum-wage increase in 60 years. It will be a welcome and much-needed addition to paychecks for more than 800,000 low-wage workers struggling to make ends meet in [...]
June 2, 2016. The following article by James Parrott appeared in the Spring 2016 issue of The American Prospect magazine. If you want to learn about the latest manifestations of inequality in urban America, read the real-estate sections of newspapers and magazines and check out the photo spreads on luxury condos in new residential skyscrapers. The palatial size, lavish finishes, and breathtaking price tags of these properties are advertisements of our new Gilded Age. In the area immediately south of Central Park in Manhattan now known as [...]
New York Economists Support a Statewide $15 Minimum Wage; Recent academic research shows it’s good for workers, businesses and the economy
March 14, 2016. More than 75 economists from throughout New York State joined together this week to send a message to Albany: a phased-in increase in the minimum wage to $15 by 2019 in New York City and by mid-2021 in the rest of the state is a prudent and much needed policy that would raise the incomes of struggling low-wage workers and boost their spending power without hurting the state’s economy. The economists’ statement cites a number of academic authorities in summarizing the case [...]
February 10, 2016. An op-ed by James Parrott, City & State. The New York state Senate approved legislation on January 26 that would cap the growth in New York City property taxes at the lesser of inflation or 2 percent a year. The 45-16 vote occurred while Mayor Bill de Blasio was testifying nearby at a Joint Legislative Budget hearing. State senators in favor of this bill made a three-pronged argument: property taxes have become too burdensome for middle-class homeowners; the property tax caps for [...]
October 12, 2015. The following op-ed by Ron Deutsch appeared in the Times-Union. Millions of Americans go to work each day, sometimes balancing multiple low-wage jobs, and yet they still struggle to make ends meet for themselves and their families. The fact is, far too many hardworking Americans slip into poverty each year. I see this firsthand in my role at the Fiscal Policy Institute. We do, however, have two powerful and effective tools that encourage work and help lift working families out of poverty [...]
August 17, 2015. This op-ed by James Parrott, FPI's deputy director and chief economist, and Jennifer Jones-Austin, CEO and executive director of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, appeared in City & State. New York’s leaders should build on the historic recommendation of the Fast Food Wage Board appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and begin moving toward an across-the-board $15-per-hour wage floor. A growing number of major cities around the country have already enacted, or are considering, a $15 floor. Legislation has been introduced in Washington [...]
June 26, 2015. James Parrott, deputy director and chief economist, authored this letter to the Fast Food Wage Board to support testimony he previously presented to the Board.
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: Testimony at the Buffalo hearing of the Fast Food Wage Board, June 5, 2015 Supplemental comments to the Fast Food Wage Board, June 26, 2015 Op-ed, “Boosting the Wages of Fast-Food Workers Will Help the Economy,” in the July 20, 2015 Albany [...]
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 dismantling welfare reform, Mayor de Blasio [...]
A missed opportunity: Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed budget needs to firmly invest in the Empire State
February 15, 2015. Gov. Andrew Cuomo's 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. He also wisely recognizes the need to give greater property tax relief to those who need it most rather than spreading it too thinly. However, for every step forward the governor takes in addressing some critical issues, he takes two steps back by continuing his austerity spending at a [...]
December 16, 2014. In recent years, there have been increased conversations at both the City and State level to address growing wage inequality through the provision of a living wage. However, one important segment of the workforce historically has been left out of these conversations-- nonprofit employees. This op-ed by Jennifer Jones-Austin, CEO/Executive Director, Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies and James Parrott, Deputy Director and Chief Economist, Fiscal Policy Institute describes how the Social Services Career Ladder project will address this wage inequality.