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Citizens Budget Commission

  • What's The [DATA] Point? $17 Billion

    whats the data point


    What's The Data Point? Episode 8 -- $17 Billion, [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    For this episode of the podcast, we were joined by Shola Olatoye, chair and CEO of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), the country's largest public housing authority, with over 400,000 people residing in its thousands of units across the city. Olatoye took over at NYCHA in 2014, soon after Mayor de Blasio took office and appointed her to the position, facing

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  • What's The [DATA] Point? 2008

    whats the data point


    What's The Data Point? Episode 7 -- 2008, [You can download What's The Data Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    For this episode of the podcast we spoke with John Breit, a CBC Trustee, PhD Physicist, and former risk adviser to Merrill Lynch and the New York City Comptroller’s Office for the pension funds. Breit had a front row view of the economic collapse of 2008 and is an expert on the city's pension system, which is an essential piece of the city's fiscal health. In our discussion,

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  • Even Without Federal Cuts, Signs of Trouble for State Finances

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    State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, right (photo: @NYSComptroller)


    State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is calmly ringing alarm bells about the New York economy and budget outlook. DiNapoli, the state’s chief fiscal officer, recently announced that overall tax collections for the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2018 -- April through July -- fell by $1.2 billion from the same period last year, a decrease of 6.1% in revenue.

    Not only did tax revenues decrease by $1.2 billion from the prior year, but they were also $1.7 billion below a projection made by the Comptroller’s

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  • What’s The [DATA] Point? 100,000, with Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen

    whats the data point


    What's The Data Point? Episode 6 -- 100,000, with Alicia Glen, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development.  [You can download What's The Data Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    For this episode of What's The [Data] Point?, a podcast from Citizens Budget Commission and Gotham Gazette, we were joined by Alicia Glen, New York City Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development, who discussed the rezoning of East Midtown, the de Blasio administration's new jobs

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  • What's The [DATA] Point? 30 Days

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    What's The Data Point? Episode 5 -- 30 Days, with Jamison Dague, director of infrastructure studies for Citizens. [You can download What's The Data Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    For the fifth episode of What's The [Data] Point? we were joined by Jamison Dague of CBC, who discussed issues facing the city's subway system, recent announcements made by Governor Andrew Cuomo that relate to the MTA, CBC analysis of transit system problems, and what to watch for as the MTA enters its summer

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  • What's The [DATA] Point? $32.5 Billion

    whats the data point


    What's The Data Point? Episode 4 -- $32.5 billion, with Janno Lieber, the MTA's new Chief Development Officer. [You can download What's The Data Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    For the fourth episode of What's The [Data] Point? we were joined by Janno Lieber, the MTA's new Chief Development Officer who is one month into his work at the MTA, where he is overseeing major capital projects. Lieber discussed his mission, his initial work and the work that lies ahead, the general issues facing the city's subway

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  • What's The [DATA] Point? $780 Million, with Comptroller DiNapoli

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    What's The Data Point? Episode 3 -- $780 million, with Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. [You can download What's The Data Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    For the third episode of What's The [Data] Point? we were joined by New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, the state's chief fiscal watchdog. With hosts Ben Max and Maria Doulis, DiNapoli discusses his thus far unsuccessful efforts to reform the state's contracting processes in the wake of the $780 million bid-rigging scandal that broke last year with federal

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  • Calls for Vetoes as 'Benefit Sweeteners' Head to Governor's Desk

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    (photo: The Governor's Office)


    As the dust settles on the scheduled legislative session in Albany and subsequent “extraordinary session” called by Governor Andrew Cuomo, much of the focus has been on the extension of mayoral control of city schools, finally passed Thursday after serious brinkmanship. There has also been plenty of talk centered on what didn’t happen: procurement, ethics, and electoral reform, the Child Victims Act, and more.

    The Citizens Budget Commission (CBC), a fiscal watchdog, is also calling for scrutiny of other items that

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  • What's The [DATA] Point? Podcast


    What's The [Data] Point? is a podcast from Gotham Gazette and Citizens Budget Commission looking at important issues in New York policy and government. GG, which is published by Citizens Union Foundation, and CBC are both watchdogs dedicated to analyzing and explaining New York public policy and holding government accountable. The podcast will touch on a variety of issues that have significant impact to the everyday lives of New Yorkers as well as the workings of city and state government. It is hosted by Ben Max of Gotham Gazette and Maria Doulis of Citizens Budget Commission, and produced by JaVon Rice

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  • Reviews Are In: What Watchdogs Say About The New State Budget

    Cuomo budget presentation

    (photo: The Governor's Office)


    A new state budget was passed in April in typical Albany fashion: with almost no time for public scrutiny of the bills or proper review by the legislators who quickly voted them through. Since the $153.1 billion budget was passed, watchdogs both in and out of government have released analyses, helping to better inform citizens and increase accountability.

    The budget was adopted a

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  • What's The [DATA] Point? $85.2 Billion

    whats the data point


    What's The Data Point? Episode 1 -- $85.2 Billion. [You can download What's The Data Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    In the first episode of What's The Data Point? from Gotham Gazette and Citizens Budget Commission, we discuss the city's recently-adopted $85.2 billion budget for fiscal year 2018, which begins July 1, 2017.

    Ben Max of GG (@TweetBenMax) and Maria Doulis (...

  • Inside New Yorkers’ Satisfaction, or Lack Thereof, with City Services

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    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    New Yorkers are notoriously opinionated, but how often do they get to tell city leaders what they think?

    In January the Citizens Budget Commission surveyed 72,000 randomly selected households across the five boroughs to ask about satisfaction with city services and quality of life. More than 10,000 New Yorkers responded and the results speak loudly about

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  • Government Watchdogs Push 'Clean Contracting' Reform in Albany

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    Alain Kaloyeros in 2016 (photo: The Governor's Office)


    A coalition of budget and transparency watchdog groups are calling on the Legislature to pass, and for Governor Cuomo to sign, comprehensive “clean contracting” legislation in response to the bid-rigging scandal that rocked the state Capitol last year and continues to reverberate.

    Specifically, at a Wednesday press conference the groups called for restoration of reviewing powers to State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli for all state contracts exceeding $250,000, an end to non-academic

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  • De Blasio Increases Spending and Savings in $84.86 Billion Executive Budget

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    The Mayor presents the budget (photo: Edwin J. Torres/ Mayor's Office)


    Nearly $200 million more in spending and $587 million in savings were added to the budget for the 2018 fiscal year in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s latest iteration of the city’s spending plan released on Wednesday.

    The mayor presented an $84.86 billion executive budget, which increased proposed spending from the $84.67 billion proposed in the preliminary budget in January. The new spending is targeted at early childhood education, job creation, veterans services, anti-eviction

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  • Several Points of Funding Contention for City Budget Negotiation

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    Mayor de Blasio presents his budget (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The city’s annual budget season kicked off on January 25 with the release of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $84.7 billion preliminary budget for fiscal year 2018, which begins July 1. Starting Thursday, the City Council will hold weeks of hearings to examine the financial plan,

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  • De Blasio Faces Local Questions About ‘Mansion Tax’ Plan

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    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Edwin J. Torres/ Mayor's Office)


    A report released by the city Independent Budget Office has raised questions about the potential effects of the so-called “mansion tax,” a proposed part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing strategy that would levy a 2.5 percent surcharge on the sale price over a threshold of $2 million for residential properties.

    De Blasio put forward a version of the mansion tax proposal, which requires approval by the State Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo, in mid-2015. It failed

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  • Renewed Push for 'Performance Budgeting' Through Mayor's Management Report

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    Council Member Ben Kallos (Photo: William Alatriste/New York City Council)


    A critical study by a fiscal watchdog on the city’s annual performance report has led to renewed calls for city agencies to base their budgets on the efficiency of services.

    The Citizens Budget Commission, an independent nonprofit, released an analysis earlier this month of the Mayor’s Management Report (MMR),

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  • Massive Bank Settlements Fueled Spending Spree by Electeds

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    Gov. Cuomo (photo: The Governor's Office on flickr)


    In the wake of the financial collapse and the Great Recession, New York City and State officials began to rake in enormous sums of money from settlements with major banking institutions.

    Because New York is the major financial industry hub of the world, local officials have jurisdiction over these institutions, and thus related fines, forfeitures, and restitutions. In deals made outside of the budgetary process, New York officials like the Attorney General, and Manhattan District

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  • Savings Debate Intensifies Ahead of City Budget Modification

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    Mayor de Blasio in a budget presentation (photo: NYC Mayor's Office)


    Reading the tea leaves and heeding calls to be more prepared for an inevitable recession, the de Blasio administration has formed a new unit in its budget office tasked with coordinating additional agency savings, a move expected to be more formally announced in conjunction with the coming November budget modification.

    City tax revenue growth has slowed, but a recession is not yet here, and may not be imminent. Though alarm bells have been ringing of late, city tax revenue

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  • Independent Budgeting a Little-Used Practice for City Watchdog Agencies

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    Mayor de Blasio makes a budget presentation (photo via Mayor's Office)


    During the annual budget process, city agencies and entities are at the mercy of the Mayor and the City Council, who ultimately set the budget. But unlike many, the several agencies and officials who regularly monitor, regulate, or litigate against the mayoral administration are put in an awkward situation, annually appealing for funding in a dynamic that can hamper their ability to carry out charter-mandated duties and, in some cases, lead

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  • Several Council Asks Remain as City Budget Negotiations Hit Home Stretch

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    The Mayor and Council discuss the budget (all photos: William Alatriste)


    City budget season entered its home stretch last week when the City Council conducted its final hearing on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $82.2 billion executive budget for fiscal year 2017. With a deal between the Council and the mayor due by the July 1 start of the new fiscal year, the parties will largely negotiate behind closed doors, with funding levels for a number of major priorities on the table. There are also lingering questions about savings and how much

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  • What To Watch For In The Mayor's Executive Budget

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    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio will release his Executive Budget for fiscal year 2017 on Tuesday and the nonpartisan, nonprofit Citizens Budget Commission has posed eight questions that people should be asking, including what to expect in terms of new revenue streams, new spending, the city’s fiscal reserves and agency savings, the impact of the state budget, and the city’s investment in

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  • The City Council's Complicated Budget Math

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    Council Speaker Mark-Viverito and colleagues (photo: William Alatriste)


    Last week, the City Council’s finance committee voted to increase the Council’s operating budget for fiscal year 2017, which begins July 1, by $3.1 million, bringing it to a total of $64 million, a five percent increase over last year’s ...

  • Several Significant Questions About The Governor's Budget

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    Gov. Cuomo at his State of the State (via The Governor's Office)


    Gov. Andrew Cuomo's 2016-2017 budget proposal has legislators and budget experts scratching their heads as to how major capital projects will be paid for, how the state plans to make good on a promise to fund the MTA, and how certain measures might affect funding for New York City. Many are wondering if the governor will keep his pledge that his plan to shift millions in costs for CUNY and Medicaid "won't cost New York City a penny."

    These questions linger almost two months

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  • Reducing Organic Waste Without Increasing Costs

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    photo via NYC Sanitation


    Today, the New York City Council will hold an oversight hearing on the Department of Sanitation's organic waste program started in 2013. The focus on organic waste is merited by the size of the waste stream (more than 1 million tons annually) and environmental benefits of reducing greenhouse gases through use of alternative disposal strategies, such as composting, rather than transport to distant landfills. The City plans to expand the pilot program citywide; however, ...