BALCONY Focus on NYS Budget
Business and Labor Coalition of New York (BALCONY)
looks forward to another fiscal year and all the new developments it will
bring. Despite the negative financial impacts wrought by
sequestration-known and unknown-New York State has much to look forward
to: it is planning to roll out its health
exchange and momentum is building in Albany to pass a higher minimum wage.
Andrew Cuomo for introducing a spending plan designed to
keep New York State's fiscal house in order. But as the budget process
winds down, BALCONY
is likewise concerned with Republican
Senator and Coalition Leader Dean Skelos' plan to take
away $2 billion
from the state budget.
also urges the governor and the state legislature to include in the
budget a minimum
wage increase to an indexed starting point of $9 per hour,
as championed by Assembly
Speaker Sheldon Silver and supported by Democratic Senator and
Coalition Leader Jeff Klein.
cite the economic and social benefits of increasing the minimum wage. As
the state Assembly and Senate prepare to vote on the budget, we ask that
all parties involved take on this issue.
FPI: Cuomo's Budget Should Hike the Minimum Wage, Fix
State Tax Code
Gov. Andrew Cuomo
As the New York State Legislature plans a vote on Governor Andrew Cuomo's
$136.5 billion budget, the Fiscal Policy Institute
state lawmakers take the following steps:
the minimum wage to its 1970 level of peak purchasing power,
which comes out to $11.15 per hour, today. Likewise, index it
according to inflation.This will increase workers' spending power,
which will be an economic boon, statewide.
New York's Unemployment Insurance program so
recipients are eligible for a greater portion of their previous
income. But also enact strict eligibility measures to ensure people
are looking for work, and explore new funding mechanisms for the
Unemployment Insurance Fund.
the state tax system. Impose Gap
Elimination Adjustment for corporate tax breaks, close loopholes so
large corporations are not paying proportionately less than small
businesses and prohibit tax breaks for companies shipping jobs
York State should not provide tax subsidies for companies that
outsource jobs or otherwise reduce employment in the state. Economic
development tax breaks should only go to businesses that create and
maintain jobs in the state," FPI President Frank Mauro told
New York State legislators this month.
Click here for links to an FPI budget analysis, as well as
reports on the budget's effects on human services and taxes.
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Employees Federation urges the legislature to amend
portions of Governor
Andrew Cuomo's FY 2013-2014 budget that will have
detrimental impacts on public health.
The New York State Legislature should oppose attempts in the budget
to privatize, close or reduce funding to SUNY hospitals (S2606/A3006 Part E Section 104).
"Let's make the governor's vision for a 'new' New York by making
SUNY Downstate [in Brooklyn] the hallmark for health care services in
the nation," said PEF President Susan Kent, in opposition to the
state's push to close SUNY Downstate Medical Center. The Governor's
budget would also reduce funding to SUNY hospitals by $28
There should be budget amendments to prevent the downsizing and
closure of mental health facilities, which the current budget would
facilitate (S2606/A3006 Parts
H and J).
The current spending plan (S2605/A3005 Part H)
would eliminate reimbursement of the Income Related Medicare Adjustment Amount to
single retirees making over $85,000, and $107,000 for those who are
married. This could harm some 5,340 retirees and
should be removed from the budget.
here to read more about PEF's
positions on these issues and a number of other budget priorities.
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NYSUT: State Needs to Increase Funding, Do Away with
New York State Teachers Union (NYSUT)
commends Governor Andrew Cuomo for taking the lead and supporting
important issues like Full Day Pre-K and Extended Learning Time, but
his budget falls short in several areas.
New York State has lost 35,000
teaching jobs in four years, because the state's tax cap -
an issue NYSUT is fighting in court. The cap makes it difficult for
local school districts to adequately fund education in their own
"In challenging the constitutionality of the tax cap, we are
fighting for ... the right of citizens, through local control of
their schools, to determine for themselves how much they want to
spend on their own community's schools,"said NYSUT President Richard
New York State continues to provide flattened funding to SUNY and
CUNY schools. The state has been steadily cutting funding over the
last decade, slashing
$1.7 billion since 2008, alone. This causes tuition
increases, and makes it harder to provide top-notch education.
K-12 education will also suffer because of the limits of the state
aid cap. We ask that the legislature restore $203 million in Fiscal
Stabilization Funding and provide additional money towards the goal
of restoring the school aid that has been cut since 2008.
Click on the following links for NYSUT positions on SUNY and CUNY funding, K-12 Education and the Tax Cap lawsuit.
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-- a NYS Epidemic --
BALCONY and the Institute For
have joined forces to inaugurate a Diabetes Prevention Program for
labor unions and businesses.
Led by Reverend
Michel Faulkner, the partnership is ready to roll out
a 16-week Diabetes
Prevention Program that will provide a nutritional
benchmark and exercise protocol so that participants can reduce the
risk of diabetes.
Rev. Michel Faulkner
Currently, according to the New York State Department Health, at
million New Yorkers are pre-diabetic and another 1.5 million are
afflicted with Diabetes.
"Diabetes is a profound health problem for our residents and
extremely costly to union members, health care funds, and families.
We must address this issue head on before diabetes debilitates too
many families," stated BALCONY
Director Lou Gordon, who further added that the IFL and BALCONY will
hold a major Diabetes
Prevention Symposium in New York City in May 2013.
US House of Representatives
Speaker John Boehner
Cuts $275 million in Federal Funding for New York State
Business and Labor Coalition of New York
and its members were disappointed with Congress' inability to address
sequestration in a responsible way. As a result, the national and
state economies stand to take a hit, job growth could be stunted and
many vital social service programs will be shortchanged.
Due to Congress' paralysis on the issue, New York State stands
to lose $275
million in funding through September 2013, the end of
the federal fiscal year.
chief economist at the Fiscal Policy Institute, a BALCONY
member, said in a recent news article that sequestration would kill
at least 15,700
jobs that would have otherwise been created in New York City, alone -
of the projected job growth forecast.
"None of these impacts is trivial and would further slow the
pace of New York City's recovery and operate to keep unemployment
unusually high," Parrott said in the article.
Further, as parts of New York State and City are still reeling from
billion of damage wrought by Hurricane Sandy, the $85 billion
sequester will affect much needed federal funding for infrastructure
projects and additional relief.
Education, child-care, public health, small business and public
safety programs will all see big cuts in 2013.
Click here for a report released by The
Fiscal Policy Institute in late February on how the sequestration
impacts New York State.
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Affordable Care Act to New York Business & Labor
New York State
Exchange Ready to Roll
in partnership with the Greater
New York Chamber of Commerce, is continuing to
provide informative workshops on the impact of the Affordable Care Act
on small business and labor.
Having recently staged seminars at the Amalgamated Bank
in Harlem and at the Mt.
Sinai IJ Selikoff Occupational and Environmental Center in Manhattan,
more activities are plan as part of the Small Business Assistance
Program of the Community Services Society.
Moreover, starting in October
2013, New York small businesses and independent
consultants, and all state residents will be able to shop for
competitively priced health insurance on a state-run health exchange
website. New Yorkers will be eligible for benefits,
The site is currently being developed and is the result of Governor
Andrew Cuomo's April 2012 executive order, following the passage of
President Barack Obama's Affordable
Because the state moved quickly and efficiently to roll out the
exchange, it has received hundreds of millions of dollars in federal
funding, including a January 2013 federal grant of $182.5 million to
support outreach and marketing.
New York's health exchange will help roughly 1.1 million New Yorkers gain
Click here for facts on the health
Assembly Stands Up to $260 Million Cut to NYC Schools
members: the United
Federation of Teachers and the New York State Teachers
Union, alongside affiliated group Alliance for Quality
Education, commend the New York State Assembly for
opposing a $260
million cut to New York City schools.
Speaker Sheldon Silver and his Assembly colleagues
Governor Andrew Cuomo's decision to withhold $260 million from New
York City schools, following a stalled agreement on
"To punish schools and withhold badly needed funds is not the
right thing to do," Silver said.
New York State has one of the biggest
equity gaps, nationwide, in funding for wealthy and
poor students. That gap
is about $8,601 in per pupil spending, according to
the Alliance for Quality Education. A state judge has already ruled
that the state
cannot withhold the funds.
Click here to read more from Alliance for Quality
UFT Glad State
is Moving on
United Federation of Teachers is confident
that a fair and effective model for teacher evaluations in New York
City will eventually be implemented, no thanks to Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg
"Bloomberg may have decided that it is not in his interest to
have a new teacher evaluation system in place when he leaves the
political scene at the end of this year. ... That isn't true for the
UFT, which went to Albany and Washington to lobby for the creation of
such a system," said UFT
President Michael Mulgrew.
Bloomberg torpedoed negotiations with the UFT, New
York City's students were deprived of $260 million - money that our
schools desperately need.
Andrew Cuomo and the State Education Department have
since stepped in to develop a teacher evaluation system, which could
be rolled out as early as June 1.
"We've seen the kinds of plans the state has approved. We are
comfortable with them because they are about helping teachers help
kids, which is something that we don't often hear from the
city," Mulgrew said.
Click here for more information on the UFT
concepts for teacher evaluations.
BALCONY BROADWAY BENEFIT & COCKTAIL PARTY
THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2013
Curtain at 8 p.m.
at the LUNT FONTANNE THEATRE
205 West 46th Street, NYC
Click here for
more info and tickets: MOTOWN
Click here for more information: GOLF
for the PDF version of the
4 West 43rd Street, Suite 405
New York, NY 10036
Lou Gordon, Director
BALCONY, THE BUSINESS AND LABOR
COALITION OF NEW YORK
Hayes, Co-Chair Business, Sr. VP, Universal American Corp.
Catherine M. Abate,
Co-Chair Non-Profit, President/CEO, Community HealthCare Network
Potenza, Executive Director, New York Labor Health Care Alliance
Kartalopoulos, Partner, Milberg LLP
DiBartolo, Tigress Financial Partners
BALCONY Treasurer; President, Greater New York Chamber of Commerce
Ventimiglia, Saratoga Capital Management
Winsten, Counsel, MSEK
Marques, BALCONY Writer
BALCONY Director of Special Projects
Brandenstein, BALCONY Events Consultant
BALCONY Development Consultant
Weaver, Web Master and Computer Consultant
BALCONY is a
501c(4) non-profit. Contributions are not tax deductible and BALCONY
makes no political endorsements nor campaign contributions.