Chaos Reigns Supreme in Albany

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

The end of another state legislative session has taken place in Albany. Analysts’ consider what happened   in June a bitter stew of bills that gets cooked up on deadline by backroom horse-trading, lobbyist pressure and little or no public debate, or review. Hardly new news, a time period known as “the big ugly.” How ugly? Upstate Republican Assemblyman Brian Kolb, …

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 …

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 …

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.  

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 …

Job Creation Folly!

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

On October 22, 2013, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo launched a “game-changing” initiative called “Start- Up-NY.” Considered then the most ambitious economic development program in recent history, the program established tax-free zones to attract and grow new businesses across the state creating an estimated 30,000 new private sector jobs. Vision, the “leveraging of our world-class SUNY system and prestigious private universities …

What next from Andrew the Munificent?

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

I couldn’t resist using the above headline, printed in Newsday on January 7th and written by William F.B. O’Reilly, a Republican consultant in this column. The writer criticizes  the governor’s recent announcement to fund “free college education at SUNY and CUNY for every state resident making less than $125,000,”and in effect, promising enough people whatever they want – no matter …

Antics and Semantics

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

Last November, Governor Cuomo participated in the temporary reopening of a GAP warehouse located in Fishkill, New York. The reason, according to his press release, with the infusion of $2.65 million in State Funding (approved by the Legislature) he stopped the company from relocating to Tennessee, saving approximately 1,000 jobs. Assuming the funding is nothing more than a helpful loan, …