Barking up the wrong tree

In Columns by Hal Peterson1 Comment

Each week, The Herald, a Long Island community newspaper publishes a column written by former state senator Alfonse D’Amato. The following caught my attention. “Our economy: If it’s gonna break, don’t wait to fix it.” Why, he considers Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc. electric car company an overvalued unsustainable money losing operation; and, his “Solar City” venture in Buffalo an aberration …

Stop playing games with other people’s money

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

The following two sentences head up a column published in June by the Journal News, a Westchester County newspaper.  (1) “New York taxpayers will have to make up $700 million in tax breaks given to private companies, part of an economic machine that promises thousands of jobs in return.” (2) “It’s a system that revolves around more than 100 local, …

Even Fairy Tales have to come to an end

In Columns by Hal Peterson1 Comment

Peter Pan, in the musical “Finding Neverland,” sprinkled stardust across a number of imaginative stages. Governor Cuomo is now on stage (wand in hand) focusing on revamping our infrastructure to 21st century standards, spending some $100 billion in construction costs. Central to this plan is the $20 billion Gateway Project that will connect travelers from across the Northeast with New …

Que Sera` Sera`

In Columns by Hal Peterson1 Comment

Both former State Senator Dean Skelos and former Assemblyman Sheldon Silver are hoping to overcome their 2015 convictions based on the 2016 Supreme Court ruling reversing the conviction of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. Not so for New York State Assemblyman William Boyland Jr. currently serving 14 more years’ in a federal prison. On July 7th, the U.S. Court of …

And the winner is!

In Columns by Hal Peterson1 Comment

If you watched the Emmy’s back in September you may well recall that the “Game of Thrones,” a fantasy drama television series won the Outstanding Drama Series award.  Why limit the idea of awards to just television? In Albany, over the past year or so, we witnessed an equal share of drama associated with the performance of our public officials’ …

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