What do you do when the schools won’t let you in?

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

Three years ago, 52 Jewish parents, former students and former teachers advised the NYC Education Department that many yeshivas were not providing, as required by state law, an education that is “substantially equivalent” to that of public schools. Three years later, City Education Department Chancellor Richard Carranza released a fourteen-page letter to state Education Department Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia stating …

Inside Politics – Can Albany be fixed?

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

The WSJ provides a daily cartoon titled “Pepper & Salt.” A recent posting shows a politician behind a podium stating “I’m leaving politics to spend more time with my defense team.” So be it!  Beginning in 2011, a combined total of fifteen New York state senator’s, assemblypersons, one comptroller, and one state health commissioner all required legal representation, charged and …

Nassau County’s Coming Fiscal Crash

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

Last fall, E.J. McMahon, a fiscal policy contributor at the Manhattan Institute for Public Policy wrote, “budget deficits papered over with borrowed money, unaffordable union contracts, pension contributions amortized into the future, retiree health benefits promised but unfunded, corruption, accountability blurred, responsibility shirked, and hard decisions avoided again and again……exists in the affluent corners of New York’s archetypal suburb, Long …

Income Equality!

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

A drawing on top of a recent WSJ column shows a two person bicycle with the man up front pumping hard (and sweating) with the man on the second seat, facing backwards, sipping a soda. The title, “How Income Equality Helped Trump.” The authors are former chairman of the Senate Banking Committee Phil Gramm, and Bob Ekelund, Jr. professor emeritus …

All that glitters is not gold

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

News broke on the morning of December 27th that President Donald J. Trump had signed into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 that will reduce taxes for both families and businesses. Sounds great! Don’t get your hopes up. The law contains stipulations that limit federal deductibility of state and local taxes in future filings. How consequential? If …

Enforcement of the Law

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

Three years ago a complaint was filed by parents, students and teachers with the City of New York alleging that 39 yeshivas were not offering a “substantially equivalent” education in English, math, history and science, basic tenet’s of universally accepted public education.            To assess, as mentioned in my column “The Convergence of the Nanny State and the Secular …

The Convergence of the Nanny State and Secular State

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

Even ardent opponents of school choice accept that parents have the right to send their children to private schools. That may soon change in New York State, where education officials are preparing new guidelines to impose strict regulations on the instruction that religious and other private schools provide, while empowering local school districts to shutter those schools if they fail …

So much for any tax savings!

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

The Fiscal Year 2018 State Budget includes a mandate known as the Countywide Shared Services Initiative (CWSSI) plan. As explained by the governor in May, it requires the leaders of sixty-two cities, fifty-seven counties, 932 towns, 545 villages, 632 school districts and about 70 independent school districts to identify shared opportunities that will yield taxpayer savings. More than a gentle …

We voted

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

Two days’ before Election Day, I used my web page to encourage a vote in favor of Ballot Proposal # 1. If approved, through the establishment of a properly managed convention, serious debate would have been possible to amend some critical aspects of state constitution that are begging for attention. Unfortunately, give or take a few souls, 2,711,000 (out of …

Providing a wake-up call to policy makers

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

Retiree Benefits Face a Crunch Starting in fiscal year 2018, new widely followed Governmental Accounting Standards Board principles will urge officials to record all health-care liabilities on their balance sheets instead of pushing a portion of debt to footnotes. This change will highlight that U.S. states as a group have promised hundreds of billions more in retiree health benefits than …