Over 20 million New Yorkers under one plan

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

On May 16th, Democratic Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie announced the passage of a universal “Improved Medicare For All,” single-payer health plan that would cover New Yorker’s regardless of wealth, income, age or health status. Called the New York Health Plan, (Assembly Bill A-05062 A) reflects the efforts of Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried, representing the 75th Assembly District, …

A Rare Chance to Amend our State Constitution!

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

On November 7, 2017, we will have an opportunity to vote on a ballot amendment, that if approved, will result in the establishment of a convention to consider revisions to our state constitution. Henry Greenberg who chairs the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on the New York State Constitution, considers the initiative a rare (once in every 20 years …

Empire State Development Corporation Operates in a Vacuum

In Audit Findings by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

NYS Comptroller Office Audit 2016-S-40, issued May 2017 Executive Summary Purpose: To determine whether Empire State Development (ESD) meets legal and regulatory requirements to report on the outcomes of its programs and initiatives, and whether the resulting reports are complete and timely. The audit covers from April 1, 2012 through September 30, 2016. Background ESD serves as the State’s chief …

Reaching for the stars

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

The 1966 movie “The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming” earned 3 Oscar nominations including one for best picture. The premise, a Russian submarine runs aground near a small New England town rousing hilarious invasion concerns. On Sunday May 2nd, Governor Andrew Cuomo sounded a mega-buster alarm. No, the Russians are not coming! It’s President Donald Trump and the …

Limiting Tenure

In Breaking News by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

The New York State Senate just passed Senate Bill S-1229, limiting the tenure of the president of the senate, speaker of the assembly, majority and minority leaders and committee chairs to 8 years. Sponsored by Senator Joseph Griffo (R,C,IP) 47th Senate District and sent to the assembly for endorsement. Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan sponsored similar legislation last year.

Tracking Government Revenue and Spending

In Breaking News, Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has created a new organization to analyze government spending and revenue.  Why? Because he couldn’t find a single source that combined all the relevant local, state and federal numbers in one, easy to use place. Access to this information can be viewed using USAFacts.org.  

“Nonspecific Funding” in Current Executive Budget.

In Breaking News by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

Citizens Union, a good government group, in their recent “Spending in the Shadows” report, notes that state lawmakers are moving to set aside nearly $14 billion that could be spent next year with very little oversight or accountability. In particular they found Gov. Cuomo’s proposed budget has $4.3 billion in 60 discretionary funding pots that are only subject to spending …


In Breaking News by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli warned on Friday that provisions contained in Gov. Cuomo’s proposed budget would strip away oversight of state spending. In his annual review of the governor’s proposed budget, DiNapoli said the $162.2 billion spending plan released by Cuomo last month would expand the executive branch’s authority to redirect funds with little input from the Legislature. “Several proposals …

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s School Bonus.

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

Act 10 let schools pay better teachers more, and learning increased. WSJ – Jan. 29, 2017 Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s collective-bargaining reforms have saved taxpayers money, and now a study finds that by rewarding the best teachers they are also improving learning. The 2011 Wisconsin law, known as Act 10, limited collective bargaining to base wages while letting school districts …

Hat’s Off to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

Both New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker took office on January 1st of 2011. In their respective “State of the State” addresses: Democratic Gov. Cuomo promised to take on the state’s huge financial problems stating “there is no more time to waste, it is time for deeds, not words, and results, not rhetoric. It is …