The BALCONY Bulletin

Finding  Common Ground Between
New York Business
and Labor
March 5, 2009
 Impact of the 2009 Stimulus Package on New York State

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 will have considerable impact on New York's state and local budgets, health care, infrastructure, education. It will create an estimated 215,000 jobs, provide increased funding for unemployment benefits, food stamps, energy, environment, transportation, housing, and public safety. There is considerable commentary regarding the President's Stimulus Package and BALCONY,  the Business and Labor Coalition of New York, is providing reactions by New York's key government officials and BALCONY members.  BALCONY also presents a selected portion of Governor Paterson's table which breaks down how the New York stimulus monies will be allocated, program by program.  BALCONY is especially pleased that several of its core issues - infrastructure improvement and maintenance, education, health care, and the transition to affordable alternative energy sources - are prominent.   BALCONY will continue to archive the reactions of state and national leaders as well as those of its own members as they are made available.  Visit the BALCONY website for additional responses and analyses in the weeks ahead.

What does the Stimulus Package Mean
for New York State?


(Information from "Governor Patterson Press Release on ARRP Impact on New York State" )

President Obama
Signs Economic Stimulus Plan


President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.

* Tax Relief - includes $15 B for Infrastructure and Science, $61 B for Protecting the Vulnerable, $25 B for Education and Training and $22 B for Energy, so total funds are $126 B for Infrastructure and Science, $142 B for Protecting the Vulnerable, $78 B for Education and Training, and $65 B for Energy.

State and Local Fiscal Relief - Prevents state and local cuts to health and education programs and state and local tax increases.
Visit the Official
Government Site 


The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
will be carried out with full transparency and accountability -- and is the centerpiece of that effort. In a short video, President Obama describes the site and talks about how you'll be able to track the Recovery Act's progress every step of the way.

We're All in This Together:  Federal, State, and Local Governments All Have a Part to Play in the Economic Recovery

Fiscal Policy Institute's Frank Mauro
and James Parrott wrote an article for The Journal of County Administration, December 2008/February 2009. The article, We're All in This Together: Federal, State, and Local Governments All Have a Part to Play in the Economic Recovery, stresses that while the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provides a significant lifeline to the states at a critical point in time, it will not completely eliminate the need for some painful budget balancing actions by state and local governments. The key challenge for the states is finding the mix of spending cuts and/or tax increases that will do the least harm to the state's economy.

Click here to visit the Fiscal Policy Institute's website.
Is Washington Really Going to Change?

In early February 2009, Gotham Research Group conducted its first post-inauguration survey of key opinion makers in Washington, D.C. on the prospects for change under the Obama Administration. BALCONY  is pleased to provide that presentation, "Is Washington Really Going to Change?" which reflects the research findings and not the opinions of Gotham Research Group. 

Click here: Change

BALCONY 2008-2009
Members Directory

 Members Directory 2008-9

Our new eBook presents the
BALCONY Members Directory
in an exciting format!

Take the Virtual Tour!

Click on the image
to access the directory.



                                     Bruce Ventimiglia                           Alan Lubin
                                           Chariman,                        Executive VP, NYSUT
                            Saratoga Capital Management

Call, Write or Email BALCONY
633 Third Avenue, 16th Floor 
New York, NY 10017
Contact: Lou Gordon - BALCONY Director

BALCONY, the Business and Labor Coalition of New York, represents more than 1,000 New York businesses, labor unions, and trade associations. BALCONY seeks common ground in the public policy debate in New York to spur economic development through the adoption of business/union friendly, socially responsible common sense laws that maintain and improve the quality of life for working New Yorkers.

Open this e-Mail in Browser


 Click Here: Stimulus
e-mail broadcast produced by Kevin R. Weaver
New York Speaks Out...

New York Governor
David Paterson:

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was signed by President Barack Obama on February 17, 2009. This legislation provides a nearly $800 billion boost to the American Economy. Approximately $374 billion is for programs that directly impact our State and New York is expected to receive $24.6 billion of that funding. The programs include funding for Medicaid, Education, Infrastructure and "shovel-ready" projects throughout New York State. Click here for additional information about New York's Guide to the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

United States Senator
Kirsten Gillibrand:
New York State's recently-appointed U. S. Senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, voted in favor of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, stating, "This legislation is vital to the revitalization of our nation's economy, and a critical investment in the future of New York.  The investments in infrastructure and alternative energy development will create jobs and build a foundation for long-term economic growth in our state." To read Senator Gillibrand's entire press release, click here: Gillibrand

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

New York State Comptroller
Thomas DiNapoli:

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli made a clear distinction between the federal stimulus program and a bailout to stabilize the state's fiscal crisis.  Careful long-term planning is the only solution to the state's fiscal woes, DiNapoli believes.  The State Comptroller's Office has created a website to track all state expenditures (, similar to what President Obama has established for the federal stimulus dispersals. For the complete press release, click here: DiNapoli

Please join Comptroller DiNapoli for a Labor Briefing and Discussion in New York City on Friday, March 6, 2009. Click here for details: Invite

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

New York City Comptroller
William C. Thompson, Jr.:

New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr., while applauding the federal stimulus package as it pertains to New York City, also warns that the monies must not be frittered away or manipulated.  For his complete statement, click here: Thompson
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

New York City Mayor
Michael Bloomberg:

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg warned that the more the delay on dispersal of the federal stimulus monies, the less effective they will be.  For his full statement, click here: Bloomberg
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Impact of the Stimulus on
New York Education



United States Senator

Charles E. Schumer:

Estimated Breakdown of Education Stimulus by School District released by U.S. Senator Schumer

With Upstate New York school districts facing historic budget deficits as the national economy continues to decline, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced the school district by school district breakdown of the nearly $1.7 billion in direct education funding New York schools will receive from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Schumer said that the Obama economic recovery package will also send $3.03 billion to New York State for an education stabilization fund to restore proposed state cuts to education. Schumer said this stabilization funding will restore nearly all of New York's education cuts this year, while direct-to-school aid will boost local school districts with the funds they need as they face historic budget gaps. Read the report: Schumer

George Miller:

Congressman George Miller, Chairman of House Committee on Education and Labor, released a report on the ARRA distribution of funds in New York State by school district.  The Congressional Research Service prepared this document which estimates the amount of education funding that each state will receive from certain aspects of the final ARRA. Specifically, this document estimates what New York State would receive under the bill's following program allocations: State Stabilization Funds, Title I, Title I School Improvement, IDEA, McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance, Education Technology, and Child Care and Development Block Grant Discretionary Funding.

These are estimates only based on available and current data and may not reflect exact allocations that states or school districts receive when these funds are actually allocated. 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Impact of the Stimulus on
New York Health Care


According to Frank Mauro of the Fiscal Policy Institute, the largest source of budget balancing aid for New York State will come as part of an increase in the federal share of Medicaid costs (called the Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentage or FMAP) for the 27-month period from October, 2008 through December 31, 2010.  In states like New York, where local governments are responsible for some portion of the non-federal share of Medicaid costs, the legislation includes a requirement that will result in part of New York's FMAP savings being shared with the state's local social services districts (i.e., NYC and the counties outside NYC).  According to a paper on the FMAP portion of the final legislation, the Center on Budget and Policies Priorities indicates that "States that require local governments to finance a portion of the state's share of the cost of Medicaid would be prohibited from raising the effective proportion paid by local governments compared to the levels prior to any temporary FMAP increase." 


Last month,  the Governor's Budget Director, Laura Anglin, said that her staff was still working with the Department of Health to determine the FMAP savings that would go to each of the local social services districts.  In 2003, when the federal government last implemented a temporary increase in the federal share of Medicaid costs, the allocation of the savings between the state itself and the local social services districts was relatively straightforward since, at that time, the non-federal share of Medicaid costs was then divided between the state and the local districts on the basis of several formulas.  This time, the division of the FMAP savings between the state and the local districts will be more complicated because of the cap on the growth of the local contribution which was enacted in 2005 and which has been in force since then.

According to Peter Slocum of the American Cancer Society, funding for New York Health Care Component of the Stimulus for Prevention and Wellness is being developed by the Centers for Disease Control.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
Impact of the Stimulus on
New York Infrastructure
The General Contractors Association of New York reported that New York will receive about $2.774 billion from the ARRA for highway, bridge, transit and clean water infrastructure projects.  The total recovery package is $789 billion with approximately $48.1 billion of that in new spending for transportation programs.  In most cases transportation programs received the lower of the House and Senate funding levels with the exception of high speed rail, which received a huge last minute boost during the conference deliberations. Click here to read the full story.

Governor Paterson Announces the Establishment of State Cabinet to Oversee Distribution of Economic Recovery Funds Across New York

Governor David A. Paterson announced the creation of the New York State Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Cabinet to manage the development of State and local infrastructure projects financed through the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The cabinet will be composed of State agency heads and senior staff from the governor's office. Timothy J. Gilchrist will serve as Senior Advisor for Infrastructure and Transportation, a position created to lead the cabinet.

For more information, click here: Econ-Development

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Impact of the Stimulus on
Energy & Environment

Apollo Alliance:

"In signing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act today, President Barack Obama ensured that nearly $116 billion will be spent over the next two years on developing clean fuels, modernizing rail transit, pursuing energy efficiency, developing high-mileage electric vehicles, and scaling up electrical generating stations powered by the wind, sun, and heat of the earth."
"The magnitude of the clean energy investment [indicates] a new national economic development strategy that is based on much different priorities than those that preceded it."  For the full Apollo Alliance analysis, click here: Apollo



Celebrate a Memory by
Giving Hope to Others


Your secure tax-deductible donation will remember a loved one and immediately support lifesaving cancer research, education, advocacy, and patient service programs.

(click here for details)