The Myth of a New York State Balanced Budget

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

A/C the Division of the Budget, state law requires the Governor to submit, and the Legislature to enact, a General Fund budget that is balanced on a cash basis of accounting. The State Constitution and State Finance Law does not provide a precise definition of a balanced budget, in practice it is considered balanced, if sufficient funds are available, or …

Nassau County ’s solvency questioned!

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Last October, the Nassau County legislature approved County Executive Laura Curran’s $3.56 billion operating expense budget, 50% of which covers personnel costs, 12% debt servicing. Not included is a substantial portion of some $2.1 billion in severance allowances accumulated by Long Island public employees for unused vacations, sick, and other paid days.  Public debt clocks in at $3.5 billion, with …

In New York City, thirty years ago, crime was out of control. Then came ‘broken windows’ policing. Are politicians forgetting their lessons?

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

Introduction: Cyrus “Cy” Vance Jr. (the subject of this column) has served as the district attorney of New York County, since January of 2010.  His father, Cyrus Vance Sr. served as both Secretary of Defense and Secretary of State under two prior Presidents. He graduated from Yale University and then earned his Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law School.  The …

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Weighs Cuts to NYPD Budget Transferring Millions to Youth Services

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

Two days after this announcement was made, the WSJ detailed year-to-date crime statistics for four major cities, including New York. Startling numbers when explained by those closest to the scene. What follows is for New York City only.     “One feature of our current politics is how quickly bad events trigger a rush to bad policies.” In New York …

Calamity Planning – New York lawmakers are considering (4) changes state law.

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

The State of poitics Blog: Spectrum News.JUNE. 01, 2020 BY NICK REISMAN George Floyd’s death after he was trapped under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer has sparked protests and unrest in more than 100 American cities, including New York City, Albany, Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo.  It may also spark further action by a state Legislature in Albany that is led …

Public Pension-Fund Losses Surpass Worst From ’08 Crisis: WSJ Condensed

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

Public pension plans lost a median 13.2% in the three months ended March 31 the biggest one-quarter drop in the 40 years the firm has been tracking, driving up already-burdensome retirement costs for governments. “There will be a lot of pressure to cut benefits,” said Don Boyd, co-director of the State and Local Government Finance Project at the University at …

Should Florida Bail Out New York?

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

A comparative look at population growth and spending over 10 years. Democrats want a $915 billion budget bailout for states and cities, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is the leading lobbyist. His main public antagonist on the subject is Florida Senator and former Governor Rick Scott. Both men were first elected Governor in 2010, so let’s do the math …

States Created Their Own Pension Debt Mess

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

The coronavirus has laid bare that many states governments are in dire straits because of their huge pension debts they have rung up. Also, many municipalities have the same issue. A Forbes magazine article from May 2019 says that Pension Tracker calculates that the total pension debt on a market basis at $5.2 trillion for state and local governments. Any …

The Good, Bad, Ugly – Cuomo’s budget

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

By: Greg David – Empire Center In normal times a government budget is a detailed list of what money will be coming in and how it will be spent, and the idea is to end the year right on plan. But the state budget adopted by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature last week is just moving forward “on a …

Another look at the long lines in front of the motor vehicle bureau etc

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

In a letter written to Newsday on March 1st Steve Feuer suggested their recent column and comment on the new Green Light Law was not about safety for other drivers but was about getting people licenses so they can eventually vote. If people break our laws and are given what they don’t deserve, let them wait. If the government elitists …