As Governor Cuomo, the New
York State Senate and New York State Assembly continue to debate New
York's $132.9 billion budget, BALCONY and its members are confronted
with serious challenges, in New York State, New York City and the
Federal government. We have been busy analyzing the budget and
testifying at legislative hearings.
We are supportive of the Governor's efforts to balance the state's
budget eliminating a $5-9 billion deficit however we believe that all
New Yorkers must chip in. BALCONY, in the true spirit of shared sacrifice,
has recommitted itself to supporting the maintenance of a tax on
wealthy New Yorkers in order to bring more than $1 billion in revenue
into the State in 2011 and an additional $5 Billion in 2012.
The following is a report which presents the individual comments and
suggestions of many of our BALCONY coalition members and other
interested parties. Included is an in-depth analysis by the Fiscal Policy Institute
on the 2011-2012 New York State budget. We urge you to contact your legislators
and the Governor to let your voice be heard.
BALCONY SUPPORTS "SHARED SACRIFICE" TO
CONTINUE NEW YORK STATE HIGHER TAX ON THE WEALTHY
The Business and Labor
Coalition of New York, BALCONY, called for an
extension of the higher tax on New York's earners with taxable income
over $200,000 as a means to help close the state's $5-9 billion budget
deficit for 2011-2012. Keeping the tax on higher earners is part of the
solution to help balance the state budget. This was the conclusion
reached by BALCONY, a coalition of over one thousand businesses, labor
unions, and advocacy groups, after its advisory board meeting in Albany
in early February 2011. In 2009 BALCONY supported the tax on higher income
"There must be 'shared sacrifice' to help
New York balance its budget. " stated Alan Lubin, BALCONY labor
Co-Chairman, "BALCONY has long understood that raising new
revenue would have to be part of the solution to our worsening economic
situation, just as we recognize that prudent state spending is
necessary. A New York State Progressive Income Tax increase that will
raise approximately $5 billion is a step in the right direction. It is
hoped that this action, economic recovery and growth needed to provide
essential services and a brighter future for all New Yorkers."
Fiscal Policy Institute Chief Economist James Parrott in
his Can New York Depend on a "Millionaire's Tax" to Solve the
Budget Crisis? stressed that while by itself the surcharge is not
sufficient to close the state's budget gap - nevertheless its extension
for 2012 and 2013 would add at least $5 billion in the state's fiscal
year 2012-2013, this being an important counterweight to the additional
cuts in essential services that would be necessary that year if the
economic recovery does not accelerate and the states' revenue systems
do not rebound.
"BALCONY has carefully considered suggestions from
its diverse business and labor membership, as well as many citizens
from New York State and leading economists to develop its position on
solving our state's severe budget deficit. We believe that extending
the taxes on our state's high-end income earners (which should not have
a significant impact on their families) in conjunction with sensible
cost cutting and improvements in efficiencies can solve our state's
budget deficit, and keep New York healthy and competitive,"
Ventimiglia, BALCONY's business Co-Chairman, and Chairman
of Saratoga Capital Management, LLC.
Click here to read
the full statement:
There IS a
Better Way; New Yorkers Need Real Property Tax Relief Now, Why the
Cuomo Tax Cap Won't Help and What Will
As a businessman I am keenly aware of the importance of
keeping spending in line with revenue, so I understand that New York
State's deepening budget crisis requires swift and decisive action from
Albany. But as a New Yorker, I want solutions that do not unfairly
place the burden of Albany's mess on local communities and families.
Cuomo currently supports putting a 2% property tax cap into effect to
curb spending at the local level and keep property taxes stable.
A tax cap
provides a great political sound bite and appeals to all taxpayers, but
the truth is that those who need genuine tax relief are guaranteed no
break at all under a tax cap.
be a better way.
One idea I
support) is to provide real and immediate personal property tax relief
by making property taxes proportional to household income. The concept
is known as a property tax circuit breaker.
property tax circuit breaker is designed to interrupt ballooning
property taxes before they overload our communities by changing the way
household property taxes are calculated and collected.
important function of the circuit breaker is to prevent rising property
taxes from overloading any individual household by setting a maximum
percentage of total household income that is subject to property
taxes.This would provide immediate property tax relief to working
families allowing them to stay in their homes or avoid moving out of
breaker combined with mandate relief is a better and fairer approach
than the 2% property tax cap.
Samuels is Chairman of Carlyle Capital Group, LLC, and a member of
New York State's Economic and Fiscal Outlook (2011-2012)
from the Fiscal Policy Institute
2011-12 Executive Budget proposed to close a projected $10 billion
budget gap with $9 billing in spending cuts - the most unbalanced
approach to budget balancing in memory and at a time when joblessness
and other recession-induced hardships are widespread.
than promote job growth and long-term economic recovery, the proposed
budget would increase unemployment, disinvest in New York's
infrastructure and K-16 education systems, and undermine the state's
the full report, click here: FPI
Executive Budget Starts State
on Path to Long-Term Budget Balance
February 16, 2011
Risks Include Unspecified Savings
The state fiscal year 2011-12
Executive Budget begins to address the state's structural deficit by
bringing recurring expenses into better alignment with recurring
revenues, according to State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli's analysis of the Governor's budget
proposal. However, DiNapoli cautioned the proposal relies on more than
$4 billion in yet-to-be specified actions.
"Governor Cuomo has started the state on a path to
attain long-term budget balance," DiNapoli said. "The
Executive Budget proposal makes progress toward finally reversing the
state's practice of spending more money than it takes in. And it does
this without significant tax increases and without deficit borrowing.
For the past four years, I have called for the state to live within its
means. This proposal is a solid step in that direction. But the plan
includes more than $4 billion in placeholder savings. Without knowing
the details of many of the deficit-closing actions, it is difficult to
determine if they will produce the projected savings. With uncertainty
for the DiNapoli news release
for the DiNapoli budget report
entire DiNapoli Statement here: DiNapoli
Governor Cuomo Accepts Recommendations from the Medicaid
Albany, NY (February
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today
accepted a report from the Medicaid Redesign Team which meets the
Governor's Medicaid spending target contained in his 2011-2012 budget
by introducing a global cap on State Medicaid expenditures of $15.109
billion. The report included 79 recommendations to redesign and
restructure the Medicaid program to be more efficient and get better
results for patients.
New York spends more than twice the
national average on Medicaid on a per capita basis, and spending per
enrollee is the second highest in the nation. At the same time, New
York ranks 21st out of all states for overall health system quality and
ranks last among all states for avoidable hospital use and costs.
Unfortunately years of attempts to address the problem have been
In an unprecedented change from
past practice, Governor Cuomo established the Medicaid Redesign Team
(MRT) bringing together stakeholders and experts from throughout the
state to work cooperatively to reform the system and reduce costs. The
approach was designed to move past the dysfunction and rancor of the
past and produce real results for all New Yorkers.
adopted by the Medicaid Redesign Team (click here)
the full press release here: Medicaid
and SHARED SACRIFICE
By Bruce Ventimiglia
New York, March 10, 2011
in Wisconsin, Ohio, and other states seeking to eliminate collective
bargaining for public employees is a dagger aimed at the heart of both
business and labor.
to eliminate collective bargaining must be rejected entirely.
Business and Labor Coalition of New York, was formed to find common
ground between business and labor.
The right to
join a union and engage in collective bargaining is a basic human right
and essential in a democratic political system.
If we look at
non-democratic societies there is no freedom of the press, no freedom
of speech, no right to vote and no union representation nor collective
that only at the bargaining table via collective bargaining can we
achieve a fair and productive working environment.
on the opposite sides of the negotiating table, BALCONY's businesses
and labor unions understand that only through honest good faith talks
can a contract be hammered out which is equitable to both sides.
It is through
the collective bargaining process that workers and management earn the
respect of each other.
bargaining helps to ensure that workers have dignity and justice in the
need employees who are committed to their jobs, better trained and are
valued customers of the services and products of small businesses.
encouraged that public opinion polls show that most Americans in fact
support collective bargaining and the rights of public employees to
negotiate their contacts for salary and benefits.
heartened that many of New York's legislators, and other statewide
elected officials, support collective bargaining and the practice of
settling policy differences at the table and not by legislative fiat.
We urge all
Americans to support the rights of Wisconsin public employees and
others to negotiate with their employers. We must continue to work
together to create a better society that will protect our families,
keep us safe, teach our children well, provide quality health care,
plow our streets, and help our seniors.
employees must not be scapegoats as the cause of our recession, the
root of our state's fiscal crisis nor the reason for our personal
economic crisis. We must realize that the solution to our economic
plight is through shared sacrifice.
rejection of ill conceived divisive plans in Wisconsin and here in New
York to weaken collective bargaining for public employees and other
Bruce Ventimiglia is Chairman of Saratoga Capital
Management, LLC and Co-Chair of BALCONY.
BALCONY Members Speak Out
About The NYS 2011-2012 Budget
President Danny Donohue
nothing fair nor shared in the proposed state budget."
Gov. Andrew Cuomo
has proposed a $132.9 billion state budget with significant cuts in
aid to localities, health education and state operations. CSEA is
at work analyzing all the ways the Cuomo budget will affect New
Yorkers and your communities.
President Kenneth Brynien
governor continues to claim that pain will be shared in his budget.
The State Executive Budget proposal would cripple public services
without asking any sacrifice from businesses, corporations and the
millionaires and billionaires responsible for the economic
Read the Testimony by Brynien on
WorkForce Issues: WorkForce
OMCE ONLY STATE EMPLOYEES TO HAVE SALARIES FROZEN
URGE MILLIONAIRES TAX & STOCK TRANSFER TAX REBATE
"WALL STREET HELP MAIN STREET"
March 2, 2011
Testimony submitted by OMCE
Joseph B. Sano Executive Director
Senators and Members of the Assembly. I'm Joe Sano,
Executive Director of OMCE.
Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you, on behalf of
OMCE and the management/confidential employees, to discuss our
concerns with Governor Cuomo's Executive Budget proposals related
to the state workforce and state government reorganization.
Organization of NYS Management/Confidential Employees, Inc. is an
AFL-CIO-affiliated labor organization that represents the interests
of the state's management and confidential (M/C) employees, who are
prohibited by the Taylor Law from collective bargaining. OMCE
represents the collective point of view of M/C employees and offers
specific support and assistance to meet the employment-related
needs of individual member M/C employees. Over 80% of M/C employees
are career civil servants who obtained their position through
competitive examination, not the "governor's people."
They are a racially diverse group of former PEF and CSEA
represented employees who have competitively earned the right to a
Read the full
NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi
March 1, 2011 - New York state would spend $1,500 less on each
public school student if the governor's proposed education cuts and
tax cap plan were implemented next year.
Overall, failure to restore the budget cuts and mitigate the tax
cap would leave school districts outside of the "Big 5"
with a $2.5 billion funding gap, according to research conducted by
New York State United Teachers and released by the union's
executive vice president, Andrew Pallotta, who testified at a state assembly
hearing on tax caps.
research - based on the state's own figures - clearly shows that
the fiscal proposals currently on the table would have a
devastating impact on our ability to provide a first-rate education
to the children of New York," said NYSUT President Richard C.
Read the tax
cap comments here:
budget comments: NYSUT
UFT President Michael Mulgrew
governor's planned cut to New York City schools amounts to about
three percent of the school system's budget. We have every
confidence that Cathie Black, whose management skills the mayor has
repeatedly cited, will be able to manage a reduction like this
without laying off teachers and raising class sizes.
mayor continues to insist that cuts in Medicaid and education will
lead to significant harm to the city, he should join us in
demanding an extension of the millionaire's tax, whose planned
sunset will cost the state billions in lost revenue."
Statement by Maria Alvarez and Michael Burgess, New
York StateWide Senior Action Council
While we are
pleased that Governor Cuomo has maintained the same level of
funding for the major community services programs for older New
Yorkers through local offices for the aging, we are distressed that
he has chosen to eliminate the NY Connects our Aging and Disability
Resource Center which has provided information and assistance to
older persons and their families about their long term care
options. For the past five years, New York State has invested over
$20 million to transform the way local Medicaid and aging offices
operate to better coordinate information about the very types of
long term care alternatives such as respite care, adult day care,
in home services, transportation and assisted living which would
allow persons to remain independent and not on Medicaid.
comments: NY StateWide
New York's healthcare system can't sustain $2.3
billion in short-term
cuts; Keep high-income earner's tax, support healthcare innovation
March 3, 2011, Albany, NY - The New York State Nurses Association
is exceptionally concerned that the state's crucial healthcare
safety net cannot sustain the reductions proposed in Governor
Cuomo's budget plan. If implemented all at once, the $2.3 billion
in reductions proposed for the Medicaid program will have a severe
effect on the state's most vulnerable residents, potentially
reducing access to health care, increasing morbidity and,
ultimately, adding to long-term healthcare costs.
New York's Elderly Rx Program Could Mean Seniors
Without Drugs They Need
February 25, 2011
The EPIC prescription drug assistance program helps
older New Yorkers age 65 and older pay for prescription drugs they
It gives almost 300,000 older New Yorkers the
peace-of-mind of knowing they can afford their medications when they
The Governor's proposals would all but eliminate this
potentially life-saving program for older New Yorkers who depend on
it and it would undermine a program that for 25 years has guaranteed
that seniors don't leave the pharmacy counter without their
Please help us protect this vital program by sending a
message to your state legislators asking them to reject the Governor's
proposed budget changes to EPIC and to help keep older New Yorkers
Your State Senator or Senators
Your State Representative or Representatives
Please protect seniors by REJECTING the Governor's
proposed EPIC cuts by visiting AARP's website.
BALCONY NEW YORK
481 Eighth Avenue, Suite 1202
NewYork, NY 10001
Alan Lubin - Labor
Bruce Ventimiglia -
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.