public finance Tag All blog entries tagged as public finance http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/latest Thu, 21 Aug 2014 06:24:07 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Today's Lead: Final Democratic Debate For Mayor http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/headlines/2013/09/04/todays-lead-final-democratic-debate-for-mayor http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/headlines/2013/09/04/todays-lead-final-democratic-debate-for-mayor

The final debate for the Democratic candidates for mayor last night was used primarily as a means to attack Bill de Blasio, who has become the front runner in the polls. He was hit on issues like his support for a tax hike on the rich to pay for prekindergarten classes - which his opponents point out needs Albany's approval. De Blasio was attacked for supporting expansion of term limits when he was running for Speaker. His late support for a living wage bill was another source of contention, as was his acceptance of earmarks. The candidates did, however, elaborate on their stances towards union contract negotiations a bit. De Blasio said the city couldn't afford to give the unions all the retroactive raises they want, while most of them said they wouldn't raise taxes to pay the workers. The NY Times published a useful fact checking piece for their claims throughout the debate here.

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Bloomberg Sues Council Over NYPD Profiling Law (Daily News)

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What Can The Next Mayor Do About Affordable Housing? (Capital)

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City’s Unionized Workers Are Mostly Minorities, Study Shows (NY Times)

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NYPD Sergeant Promoted Despite 16 Civil Rights Lawsuits (Daily News)

State Lawmakers Make Three Times State Taxpayers (Albany Times Union)

Lopez, Disgraced In Albany, But Vying For Council (NY Times)

Electric Zoo Hid Sick Drug Users, Cops Say (NY Post)

The Mysterious Forces At Work In The 2013 Election (Gotham Gazette)

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mmuller@gothamgazette.com (Mike Muller) The Eye-Opener Wed, 04 Sep 2013 12:12:42 +0000
Today's Headlines: Scandal Mania vs Legislative Agenda! http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/headlines/2013/05/14/todays-headlines-scandal-mania-vs-legislative-agenda http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/headlines/2013/05/14/todays-headlines-scandal-mania-vs-legislative-agenda

Gov. Cuomo yesterday vowed to keep pushing his legislative agenda in face of "scandal mania." He's been using the recent wave of "quote, unquote scandals" to push ethics reform, but still wants movement on his other priorities, such as women’s equality, the creation of a local government panel, and casino gaming. He also blamed the press for letting scandals become all-consuming. Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos is using the investigations as a reason to oppose public financing, saying it will put public money into the hands of untrustworthy people. Cuomo yesterday revealed a proposal for one of his priorities, reforming the Long Island Power Authority, calling for a three year rate freeze and a takeover by Public Service Electric & Gas Co. of New Jersey.

Other Stories We're Following

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City Board Of Elections Warns Of Mayoral Election Disaster (Daily News)

Advocacy Group Opposed To Flushing Meadows Soccer Arena (Capital)

Bloomberg Defends Queens Soccer Stadium (NY Post)

Liu Campaign Most Aggressive In Courting Muslims (Daily News)

Indian Point Nuclear Plant Draws Mixed Grades (WNYC)

City Seeks Developers to Restore Staten Island Marsh (DNAinfo)

State To Use Federal Grant To Pay For Homes Damaged By Irene and Lee (Albany Times Union)

Quinn Would Double Newsstand Maximum Price To $10 (NY Post)

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mmuller@gothamgazette.com (Mike Muller) The Eye-Opener Tue, 14 May 2013 13:07:58 +0000
Today's Report: Sewage Overflows Caused By Sandy http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/todays-report/2013/04/30/todays-report-sewage-overflows-caused-by-sandy http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/todays-report/2013/04/30/todays-report-sewage-overflows-caused-by-sandy Superstorm Sandy caused 11 billion gallons of partially or untreated sewage - the equivalent of Central Park stacked 41 feet high - to leak into rivers, lakes, and waterways, according to this report by Climate Central. New York City reported six sewage spills larger than 100,000,000 gallons, and 28 larger than 1 million gallons. New York authorities estimate it will cost nearly $2 billion to repair flood damaged sewage treatment facilities. Sewage overflow is common in the city, although not on this scale, and climate change will only make things worse, the group warns:

"Climate change is making sewage treatment plants more vulnerable to major failures and overflows due to rising seas, more intense coastal storms, and increasingly heavy precipitation events."

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mmuller@gothamgazette.com (Mike Muller) Today's Report Tue, 30 Apr 2013 11:28:59 +0000
Medicaid Issues Costing State http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2013/03/26/medicaid-issues-costing-state http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2013/03/26/medicaid-issues-costing-state

A delay in its bidding process has left the state's Office of Medicaid Inspector General without private investigators who do the foot work rooting out fraud and abuse. Without them, the state is failing to recover tens of millions of dollars. The investigators are usually retired detectives. Also, the office has weakened its in-house enforcement, leaving many cases without a primary investigator or supervisor assigned. Meanwhile, the federal government is asking the state to return a $27.4 million reimbursement to Washington. An audit found an "extremely high" incidence of billing errors for services for Medicaid recipients who were in a state rehabilitation program.

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In Reversal, Liu Opposes Inspector General For NYPD (Wall Street Journal)

Tax Rebate Details Emerge (Albany Times Union)

Offstage, A Proudly Brash Quinn Isn’t Afraid To Let Her Fury Fly (NY Times)

In Area Plagued By Violence, A ‘God Squad’ Hits The Streets (NY Times)

Former Inmates Struggle To Learn New Technologies (WNYC)

Sen. Squadron's Switch On Park Pays Off (NY Post)

Taxi App Keeps You On Track (NY Post)

Bronx School Not Getting Fair Shake: Borough’s Rep On Education Panel (Daily News)

Demolition Crews Finish the Job Sandy Started (WNYC)

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mmuller@gothamgazette.com (Mike Muller) City Tue, 26 Mar 2013 12:07:21 +0000
Today's Headlines: Public Authority Debt At $244 Billion http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2013/03/06/todays-headlines-public-authority-debt-at-244-billion http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2013/03/06/todays-headlines-public-authority-debt-at-244-billion

Last year, debt at the state's public authorities reached $244 billion, rising from $215 billion the year before, according to a report by the state comptroller. That includes $58 billion worth of bonds issued on behalf of state government. Spending jumped from $44 billion to $56 billion during the same period. The 1,169 state and local authorities range from the MTA to the Rensselaer County Water and Sewer Authority. The public typically has no vote on their indebtedness.


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Government Lends To Rebuild In Flood Zones (WNYC)

Victim Of Illegal Stop-And-Frisk Gets $14,000 Settlement (Daily News)

City Elections Board Opts For Scanners in Primary, Runoff (WNYC)

Senate Conference Proposes To Halt Fracking Consideration (Albany Times Union)

The Whitest Assembly Districts (Capital)

Improprieties Found In Carrion's 2009 Borough President Campaign Spending (Daily News)

Assembly OKs $9 Minimum Wage; Senate Gets Bill (Associated Press)

Aqueduct Bet Pays Off (NY Post)

Federal Budget Cuts Will Hit JFK (NY Times)

State Grants Another $25 Million For High-Speed Internet (Associated Press)

Bloomberg Shifts Blame For Rise In Shelter Stays (Wall Street Journal)

Pilot Says 'Drone' Flew Past Jet Nearing JFK (NY Times)

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mmuller@gothamgazette.com (Mike Muller) City Wed, 06 Mar 2013 12:57:56 +0000
Today's Lead: Lack of Funds for NY's Schools http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/12/12/todays-lead-lack-of-funds-for-nys-schools http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/12/12/todays-lead-lack-of-funds-for-nys-schools

The city missed out on $40 million in federal Race to the Top funds for failing to provide budget, timeline and personnel information. The city scored 186 out of a possible 210 points on its application. A number of points were lost simply for incomplete answers. Meanwhile, federal negotiations over the fiscal cliff could lead to $164 million in cuts to federal aid for programs for special-education and lower-income students in the state. In other related news, schools in New York's poor districts still lack basic resourcessix years after a landmark court ruling required the state to increase spending on public education.

Today's Report

How Start Ups Could Benefit All

The benefits of the city's start up boom have been concentrated among those with technical and entrepreneurial skills, according to this report by the Manhattan Borough President's Office. The study offers ways the city could ensure that jobs in these industries are accessible to all.
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mmuller@gothamgazette.com (Mike Muller) City Wed, 12 Dec 2012 13:20:09 +0000
Paying for Sandy and Future Storms http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/12/10/paying-for-sandy-and-future-storms- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/12/10/paying-for-sandy-and-future-storms- On Friday, President Obama asked Congress for $60.4 billion in Sandy aid for New York, New Jersey and other states. Nearly $48 billion of it would go to relief, while the rest would be used for mitigation of future storms. To further help recovery efforts, two U.S. senators have also proposed billions in tax breaks, a plan modeled after a Katrina bill. Meanwhile, a relief fund set up by Gov. Cuomo has been criticized for the political nature of the board that oversees the money it raises. Many members were involved in fundraising for the governor's election campaign. In related news, a number of the area's non-Sandy related charities have seen a drop in donations since the storm hit.

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mmuller@gothamgazette.com (Mike Muller) City Mon, 10 Dec 2012 12:33:11 +0000
Headlines: Effects of Sandy Linger; Cuomo to Probe Utilities http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/11/13/headlines-effects-of-sandy-linger-cuomo-to-probe-utilities- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/11/13/headlines-effects-of-sandy-linger-cuomo-to-probe-utilities- In many pockets throughout the city, the effects of Sandy are still being felt. It could be weeks before damaged hospitals reopen, but Mayor Bloomberg $500 million emergency plan for those hospitals and also public schools. Out of the city's 1,750 schools, 37 remain shuttered. Public housing residents who still have no power will receive a rent credit for their time without services, but not until January. Rockaway is still a demolition zone and mold is becoming a large concern. The city is launching "one-stop restoration centers" that will provide recovery services and disaster relief. The extra money Gov. Cuomo requested from the federal government is far from definite.

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mmuller@gothamgazette.com (Mike Muller) City Tue, 13 Nov 2012 13:24:15 +0000
Headlines: MTA Fare Hike Proposals; Rubber Rooms; Earlier Primaries http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/10/16/headlines-mta-fare-hike-proposals-rubber-rooms-earlier-primaries- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/10/16/headlines-mta-fare-hike-proposals-rubber-rooms-earlier-primaries-

The M.T.A. revealed its four fare hike proposals today. Two would increase the base fare to $2.50 from $2.25 while raising the cost of unlimited MetroCards. The others wouldn't alter the base fare but would increase unlimiteds substantially. Chairman Joseph Lhota said he prefers a hybrid of the proposals. He also ruled out eliminating the bonus for pay-per-ride cards, which makes two of the proposals unlikely to pass. Costs for commuter trains, as well as bridge and tunnel crossings, will also rise. The MTA is looking for another $450 million a year from users. Fares and tolls are expected to rise again in 2015. They vote on the proposals in December.

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mmuller@gothamgazette.com (Mike Muller) City Tue, 16 Oct 2012 12:58:47 +0000
A Better Way to Fund the MTA http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/10/16/a-better-way-to-fund-the-mta- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/10/16/a-better-way-to-fund-the-mta- This report by the Citizens Budget Commission proposes a new way to fund the M.T.A. called "25-50-25". It recommends that auto user fees cover all drivers' facilities, plus 25 percent of mass transit services. Then mass transit user fees would cover another 50 percent of the operating costs of those services. And state and local tax subsidies would cover the final 25 percent of transit operating costs plus “catch-up” capital investments needed to bring the system to a state of good repair.

The 25-50-25 policy would mean that mass transit riders would pay higher – but still reasonable – fares. The cost of a single ride ticket would increase to at least $2.75 by 2016 but in constant dollars a subway ride would cost at most three cents more than it did in 1996. Motorists would face increased costs for the use of their vehicles, in the range of $167 to $293 more annually, but the charges would be consistent with those in other global metropolises and related to the benefits drivers derive from a well-functioning transportation system.

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mmuller@gothamgazette.com (Mike Muller) City Tue, 16 Oct 2012 12:55:22 +0000
Headlines: MTA finances improved; Council redistricting called unfair http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/10/03/headlines-mta-finances-improved-council-redistricting-called-unfair http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/10/03/headlines-mta-finances-improved-council-redistricting-called-unfair

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says the M.T.A.'s finances have improved after years of crises thanks to increased ridership, higher tax collection, and cost-cutting measures. But he noted that fare hikes outpace inflation and financing sources for future projects remain unclear. The legal challenge to the payroll tax was also raised as a significant hurdle. Meanwhile, the state budget has generally stabilized from the recent past, when it lurched from multi-billion dollar crisis to crisis, he said.

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mmuller@gothamgazette.com (Mike Muller) City Wed, 03 Oct 2012 12:32:31 +0000
Today's report: The state property tax cap http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/10/01/todays-report-the-state-property-tax-cap http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/10/01/todays-report-the-state-property-tax-cap The state's new property tax cap succeeded in its first year in holding average property tax growth to 2 percent – 40 percent less than the previous ten-year average, according to this report by Gov. Cuomo's office. Out of 3,077 local governments and school districts proposing a levy in the past year, the study found that 84 percent reported a levy within the capped amount.

Other highlights of the report include:
· 642 of 678 or 95 percent of school districts stayed within the cap.
· 1,944 of 2,399 or 81 percent of local governments that reported a proposed levy stayed within the cap.

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mmuller@gothamgazette.com (Mike Muller) City Mon, 01 Oct 2012 12:24:41 +0000
Today's Report: Alternative fuel vehicles for state agencies http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/09/20/todays-report-alternative-fuel-vehicles-for-state-agencies- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/09/20/todays-report-alternative-fuel-vehicles-for-state-agencies- State agencies are in compliance with an executive order that vehicle purchases be alternative fuel vehicles, but guidelines about when to use which type of fuel are lax, according to this audit by the state comptroller.

Starting in 2005, 50 percent of all new light-duty vehicle purchases were required to be alternative fuel, increasing to 100 percent in 2010. Between January 1, 2006 and June 6, 2011, the authority purchased 731 light-duty vehicles, including 594 alternative fuel vehicles. The authority was not in compliance with the Order in 2006, but was compliant from 2007 through 2011. The authority has not developed any policy or given guidance to its employees on when to use alternative fuel E-85 in its vehicles. As a result, fuel selection is driven by employee choice rather than authority direction. For the three divisions tested, authority employees at locations with E-85 pumps used E-85 between 30 percent and 60 percent of the time.

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mmuller@gothamgazette.com (Mike Muller) City Thu, 20 Sep 2012 12:35:14 +0000
Report: Heath care savings from drop in obesity rates http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/09/19/todays-report-heath-care-savings-from-drop-in-obesity-rates- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/09/19/todays-report-heath-care-savings-from-drop-in-obesity-rates- If New York were to reduce it's body mass index by 5 percent by 2030, it could save $40 billion in health care costs, according to <a href="http://healthyamericans.org/newsroom/releases/?releaseid=273" target="_blank">this report</a> by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. But if the state continues on its current trajectory, it could have an adult obesity rate of 51 percent by that time.

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mmuller@gothamgazette.com (Mike Muller) City Wed, 19 Sep 2012 12:25:25 +0000