Economy

Zeldin, vowing to cut taxes, wants to assess Medicaid program

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Rep. Lee Zeldin wants to cut taxes as governor.

If he had his way, he told a group of business leaders at an annual gathering in the Adirondacks on Friday morning, he would end the estate tax and even the personal income tax, the state budget's main revenue generator.

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Hochul: Federal government should waive interest on unemployment debt

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The federal government should waive the interest on the billions of dollars in unemployment debt New York accrued during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Kathy Hochul on Friday said.

In the meantime, the interest on the debt from the unemployment insurance benefits will be shouldered by employers in the state, with an increase taking effect in the coming weeks.

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Report finds more data may be needed to assess payroll industry in New York

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

At the root of the four payroll fraud cases in New York over the last decade was the diversion of taxes and phony reports filed to the Internal Revenue Services and their clients, a report released this week by state financial regulators found.

But more information on the industry may be needed to generate potential reforms, state lawmakers on Thursday said.

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What the Federal Reserve's raising of interest rates means for New Yorkers

BY Tim Williams New York State

In an attempt to fight back against high inflation, the Federal Reserve substantially raised interest rates, which means higher rates for many consumer and business loans. Sean Leonard, chief investment officer at Graypoint, told Capital Tonight that these rate levels haven’t been seen since the early 2000s. Leonard adds the higher rates could cost lower wage earners that are homeowners or who have credit card debt the most.

Inflation has hit the American wallet hard with the prices of everything from food to cars rising and forced Americans to cut back to make ends meet. According to Leonard, the cost to buy a house is nearly 70 to 80% higher than it was in early 2021 thanks to higher interest rates and the housing boom.

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Making sense of how economic data is collected

BY Tim Williams New York State

The economy is sure to be one of the major issues in this year’s midterm elections. But how does the New York Department of Labor get the data to calculate the unemployment rate and what does it all mean?

Russell Weaver, a quantitative geographer and director of research at the Cornell ILR Buffalo Co-Lab, joined Capital Tonight on Monday to help sort it all out.

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Retail cannabis stores on track to start opening in New York by the end of 2022

BY Tim Williams New York State

Nearly a year and a half after the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act was signed into law, Chris Alexander, executive director of the New York State Office of Cannabis Management, told Capital Tonight that the office is working on licensing retailers for the legal cannabis market with a prioritization on small and medium businesses. Alexander said the first retailers are “fully on track” to open by the end of 2022 with more on the way in the new year.

Included in the legalizing legislation was a provision aimed at lessening the disproportional impact of marijuana prohibition by having people with connections to a prior marijuana conviction be included in the first wave of licensing. According to a recent Siena poll, 54% of New York voters are against this policy and Republican gubernatorial candidate Rep. Lee Zeldin has criticized the policy.

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How employment for people with developmental disabilities can be boosted

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York State Industries for the Disabled President and CEO Maureen O'Brien has been on a mission to help expand the employment opportunities for New Yorkers with disabilities.

"The more that private businesses as well as state government know the benefit of employing people with disabilities, the better this will be," O'Brien said.

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New York's unemployment rate increased in August

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Hiring once again slowed in August as New York's unemployment rate ticked upward, the state Department of Labor on Thursday announced.

The unemployment rate statewide increased from 4.3% to 4.7%. The increase was largely led by New York City, where unemployment increased from 6% in July to 6.6% in August, according to Department of Labor data.

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NY lawmakers, advocates want pressure for developing nations' creditors

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

For the Rev. Nicolle Jean-Simone, helping her husband's native Haiti often comes from personal pleas.

"We receive calls from family members, friends, missionaries telling us the needs of what's going on in the country and we do our very best to support them," she said. "But what if we could do it also through legislation."

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Stefanik opposes credit card tracking for gun purchases

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik released a letter on Wednesday questioning the move to change a purchasing code that could make it easier for authorities to track gun purchases.

The change, made by an international regulatory body earlier this year, has been embraced by Democrats and supporters of stricter gun laws. But Republicans, as well as gun dealers and owners, have called the change an erosion of rights and privacy.

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New Yorkers may be spending less even as sales tax revenue is up

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Sales tax collections in August increased by 12.6% compared to the same time last year even as New Yorkers are likely pulling back on spending in the wake of spiking inflation, state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli on Wednesday said.

All told, statewide sales tax collections reached $1.7 billion in August, an increase of nearly $192 million.

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Nick Langworthy criticizes Biden administration over energy prices, inflation

BY Ryan Whalen West Seneca

WEST SENECA, N.Y. -- National Grid is forecasting typical customers will pay about $263 or 39% more than last year on natural gas between the beginning of November and end of March in order to heat their homes.

"That is a staggering increase that is simply unaffordable for many, many people across Western New York and the Southern Tier," Republican congressional candidate Nick Langworthy said.

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Former NY Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch on Kathy Hochul, the MTA and state's outmigration

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

Richard Ravitch’s breadth of experience is enormous. He’s an economic policy expert and a board member of the Volcker Alliance. He served as New York lieutenant governor under David Paterson. He was the former head of the MTA, a former chief labor negotiator for Major League Baseball and one of the handful of people who helped save New York City from going bankrupt in the 1970s.

Much of this is detailed in this 2014 book, "So Much to Do: A Full Life of Business, Politics, and Confronting Fiscal Crises."

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New grant helps connect underserved communities in the Cincinnati area

BY Camri Nelson Cincinnati

CINCINNATI — The U.S. Department of Transportation reported nearly 160 pedestrians were killed in Ohio in 2020 alone. A federal infrastructure grant is helping cities across the country increase mobility and pedestrian safety.

A $20 million RAISE grant was the main topic of discussion at the City of Cincinnati's Climate, Environment and Infrastructure Committee meeting on Tuesday. Council member Meeka Owens said the money will help the city fund a major infrastructure project in Cincinnati’s West End, Queensgate and Lower Price Hill neighborhoods.

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New York Republicans mobilize against farm worker overtime change

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

More than a dozen New York Republicans running for Congress or are current incumbents in the House of Representatives are backing an effort to block the state from lowering the overtime threshold for farmworkers from 60 hours a week to 40.

The legislation, backed by Reps. Chris Jacobs and Elise Stefanik, has the backing of the state's House delegation as well as 10 Republicans running for a congressional seat this November.

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New York lawmakers want to exempt student loan relief from taxes

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York lawmakers on Thursday introduced legislation that would formally exempt federal student debt relief from state taxes.

The bill, backed by Deputy Senate Majority Leader Mike Gianaris, state Sen. Brad Hoylman and state Sen. Kevin Thomas, would codify the policy set by the state Department of Taxation and Finance to not count as income the debt relief following a plan announced last month by President Joe Biden.

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New York Assembly Agriculture Committee chair: Washington needs to step in on behalf of farmers

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

New York farm workers are one step closer to getting paid overtime after 40 hours of work, but the chair of the state Assembly Agriculture Committee is not happy about the change.

The New York Farm Laborers Wage Board submitted its final report to the New York State Labor commissioner on Tuesday. Two of the three members of the board voted to gradually phase-in the 40-hour threshold, putting farm workers in line with every other category of U.S. worker.

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Wage Board recommends DOL chief accept 40-hour overtime threshold for New York farm workers

BY Kate Lisa New York State

Farmers and advocates will continue to push New York state Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon to see things their way after the Farm Laborers Wage Board submitted its final report to the commissioner Tuesday, voting to recommend reducing the state overtime threshold for farm workers to 40 hours.

The three-member board, with chair Brenda McDuffie, former president and CEO of the Buffalo Urban League; New York Farm Bureau President David Fisher; and Denis Hughes, former state AFL-CIO president; voted 2-1 in what may be the trio's final meeting late Tuesday afternoon. They voted to submit the report recommending a gradual phase-in of the 40-hour threshold down from 60 hours over the next decade.

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Opponents to New York farm overtime reduction make final effort days before vote

BY Kate Lisa New York State

Farmers and upstate New York lawmakers are pounding the drum in a final effort to urge the state Labor Department commissioner to reject a proposal to reduce the overtime threshold for farm workers to 40 hours.

The Farm Wage Board will vote in a virtual meeting at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday and submit its final report to Labor Department Commissioner Roberta Reardon, expected to recommend reducing the overtime threshold over the next decade.

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New York comptroller: Pension contribution rates will increase for public employers

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Contribution rates for public employers in New York are set to increase as Wall Street gyrations over the last several months have created headwinds for the state pension fund, New York Comptroller Tom DiNapoli's office on Thursday announced.

The announcement, which will affect rates for the fiscal year beginning April 1, 2023, is the latest example of how the ongoing economic uncertainty is leading to elected officials to take more cautious approaches.

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Rep. Higgins leads roundtable with focus on boosting WNY tourism

BY Ryan Whalen Niagara Falls

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. -- The Western New York domestic and international travel-related spending did see a major uptick between 2020 and 2021 when the U.S. Canadian border began to reopen.

However, Democratic U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins said it has not yet reached pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels.

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Financial headwinds continue for New York restaurants

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Many restaurant owners in New York are reporting increasingly worse financial conditions for the industry as their struggles continue in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a survey released on Wednesday.

The survey results from a trade group, the New York State Restaurant Association, underscore the ongoing financial hardship for many restaurant owners and operators in the state, with 41% reporting their business conditions are worse than they were three months ago.

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Powell: Fed could keep lifting rates sharply 'for some time'

BY Associated Press Nationwide
UPDATED 11:13 AM ET Aug. 26, 2022

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell delivered a stark message Friday: The Fed will likely impose more large interest rate hikes in coming months and is resolutely focused on taming the highest inflation in four decades.

Powell also warned more explicitly than he has in the past that the Fed's continued tightening of credit will cause pain for many households and businesses as its higher rates further slow the economy and potentially lead to job losses.

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New York's pension fund took a beating in volatile market

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York's pension fund in the first quarter of the state's fiscal year posted a negative rate of return amid a volatile financial scene nationally and across the globe.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli's office on Friday announced the fund posted a negative 8.24% return in the first three months of the fiscal year beginning April 1.

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Employers urge New York to fix unemployment insurance surcharge

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

When the COVID-19 pandemic first led to a closure of business, schools and other public gathering spaces, Rod Dion did something many employers couldn't do: He kept all his employees.

"One of the best and hardest decisions I did was to not let anybody go," he said during an interview at Tech Valley Office Interiors in Cohoes. "It was not easy."

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Hochul seeks to boost New York developmental disabilities workforce

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York state officials are trying to boost the number of people who work with those with developmental disabilities through expanded credentialing and bonuses, Gov. Kathy Hochul on Monday announced.

The move is being powered by a $10 million agreement with the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals over the next three years. It also comes as advocates for people with developmental disabilities have urged Hochul and state officials to continue to raise worker pay in the sector after a cost-of-living-adjustment plan was approved in the state budget.

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Hochul approves law to spur 'green' semiconductor manufacturing

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

It was a victory lap for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who was able to usher through a $50 billion measure aimed at ramping up semiconductor and high-tech chip making in the U.S. and here in New York.

"If New York is to maintain and America is maintain its economic pre-eminence, we should be making semiconductors in Syracuse, not Shanghai," he said.

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Why upstate New York leaders hope CHIPS Act will build future

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The hopes for upstate New York becoming an epicenter of semiconductor manufacturing for the country are sky high following the approval of the CHIPS Act this week by President Joe Biden.

The high-tech sector in parts of Central New York and the Capital Region have had the groundwork laid for the last several decades as the U.S. seeks to boost its chip production in order to become more competitive with the rest of the world.

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State labor officials will study employment of transgender New Yorkers

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

State Department of Labor officials will conduct a study of the employment picture facing transgender people in New York as part of a bill signed Wednesday by Gov. Kathy Hochul.

"As the birthplace of the movement for LGBTQ+ equality, New York must always push forward to ensure all New Yorkers are treated with dignity and respect," Hochul said. "For too long, trans individuals -- especially in communities of color -- have faced significant obstacles to economic success. That's unacceptable. Thanks to this new law, New York will be able to study these inequities so we can develop the legislative solutions to eliminate them once and for all."

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Hochul approves law promoting New York's jobs bank

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A bill creating a public awareness campaign for the New York State Job Bank was signed into law Monday by Gov. Kathy Hochul in order to help promote employment in the state.

The measure is meant to boost the job bank as an online resource, part of the state Department of Labor, to help people seeking jobs with more than 250,000 positions in a variety of sectors.

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New York GOP comptroller candidate Paul Rodriguez argues for change

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

In New York state, the role of the comptroller is especially powerful because whoever runs the office is the sole trustee of the state’s $280 billion pension fund, one of the largest in the country.

For the past 14 years, Tom DiNapoli, a Democrat from Long Island, has been at the helm of the office, so this November, it’s his race to lose.

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Zeldin wants an 'across-the-board' tax cut

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Republican candidate for governor Lee Zeldin would push the "largest tax cut" in New York history if elected this November and indicated Monday he wants to cut taxes in virtually every corner of the state budget.

The details of Zeldin's plan, however, are not yet specifically spelled out. At the same time, he did not commit to an extension of eliminating 17 cents in gas taxes, set to expire at the end of the year (Republicans in the state Senate have called for a full elimination of gas taxes).

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New York's health insurance premiums continue to outpace much of U.S.

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New Yorkers are second only to Alaskans when it comes to the average cost of health insurance premiums they and their employers pay each year — now standing at $8,542.

Employer-based health insurance in New York has typically cost more than the rest of the country, but it's becoming increasingly more expensive than most of the rest of the country.

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Pros and cons to federal digital antitrust legislation

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

In 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives' Subcommittee on Antitrust released a report on anticompetitive conduct by Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google.

Investigators found that these companies are suppressing competition. In response, lawmakers have introduced several pieces of legislation, including the “American Innovation and Choice Online Act," or AICOA.

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New York lawmaker urges relief for employers from unemployment surcharge

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Republican state Sen. Pat Gallivan urged officials on Wednesday to reduce unemployment insurance costs for employers in the state as New York owes more than $8 billion to the federal unemployment insurance trust fund.

“Businesses large and small, still trying to recover from the negative impact of the pandemic and being forced to shut down, are now being hit with an unexpected Unemployment Insurance surcharge that for some is in the thousands of dollars,” Gallivan said. “Putting this financial burden on the backs of New York businesses and local governments at a time when many are already facing increased operating costs is unconscionable.”

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New York officials want to boost consumers as economic mood darkens

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Siena College this month released its quaterly consumer sentiment index for New York. The results were not good.

New Yorkers, battered by high gas prices at the pump and increased food costs at the supermarket, are increasingly glum about the economy. The consumer sentiment index is at its lowest ebb in 11 years, and is at an all-time low among upstate New York residents.

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Hiring in New York slowed in June; unemployment rate stays flat

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The increase in private sector employment in New York slowed in June and overall unemployment was unchanged amid rising interest rates and concerns over a potential economic recession.

The number of private-sector jobs in New York increased by 19,700 last month, according to the state Department of Labor. That's a decline from May, when the state added 27,200 jobs.

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New York Republicans call for 2-year sales tax holiday

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Republican state lawmakers on Wednesday called for a sales tax holiday over the next two years that would cover a range of consumer goods in order to battle inflation woes facing New Yorkers.

If enacted, the measure would provide for about $2.6 billion in yearly tax relief.

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Schools in New York are trying to tackle inflation

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Hamburg Superintendent Mike Cornell points out that inflated costs — from utility bills, to fuel and even food — is making life a little more complicated in his western New York school district as teachers and school officials continue to provide for students.

"We are buckling up for a year in which we are going to have to sharpen the pencil on some of those other costs to make sure we can spend money on where it really needs to be spent, which is on early literacy, early numerousy and student mental health," he said.

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New York launches hotline to report wage theft

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Touting efforts to crack down on wage theft in New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday announced a new hotline for workers to report potential cases.

The announcement, made with labor union leaders, local prosecutors and state Attorney General Letitia James, came as Hochul also pointed to the results of a task force meant to curtail wage theft in New York.

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Farmland conservation grants expanded to New York wineries, other agribusiness

BY Kate Lisa New York State

Gov. Kathy Hochul kicked off one of several conversations on Monday on a statewide listening tour about the future of farming in New York. She also announced millions of dollars in grants that will help conserve New York farmland.

Those conversations with farmers and other stakeholders will continue in all regions of the state through the end of the year with Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado. The talks will explore the economic and workforce challenges impacting agriculture, especially since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Advocates want to boost employment for people with disabilities in New York

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

For the last 28 years, Mike Lizzi has been working with the Center for Disability Services. Since 2014, workplace is a cavernous facility in Albany that prints and sorts mail.

"It's good for me, it helps me support my family. My daughter is going away to college pretty soon," he said. "So it's an enjoyable job for people like myself and others — disabled and not disabled — because we're serving the community."

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New York to conduct study of bank overdraft fees

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

State banking regulators will conduct a study on overdraft fees in New York and the impact on consumers, especially low-income people, under a law approved Friday by Gov. Kathy Hochul.

"As New Yorkers recover from the economic pains of the pandemic, it is critical that we do everything possible to increase access to affordable banking services," Hochul said. "This legislation will help ensure that every New Yorker has access to low-cost banking services to manage and secure their needs, regardless of where they live."

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Is the summer tourism season making a comeback in New York?

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The summer tourism season is in full swing across New York and relief for businesses who rely on travel dollars is sorely needed.

The industry took a deep hit in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, shedding jobs and profit along the way. But the industry continues to face challenges.

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New York led U.S. in jobless claims increase

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Unemployment insurance applications ticked upward for the week ending July 2 — fueled by a large increase initial claims made in New York, federal data released Thursday showed.

Initial unemployment claims increased by 9,000 applications to 244,000. New York state reported the largest increase in initial claims in the country at 5,165, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

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U.S. stocks fall following another hot inflation report

BY Associated Press Nationwide

Stocks fell broadly in morning trading on Wall Street Thursday after another hot reading on inflation had investors bracing for another big interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve later this month.

The S&P 500 fell 2% as of 10:19 a.m. Eastern. More than 95% of companies in the benchmark index were in the red. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 604 points, or 2%, to 30.163 and the Nasdaq fell 2.1%.

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New York's property tax cap set at 2% for 2023

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Soaring inflation costs have led to New York's cap on property tax increases to be set at its upper most limit of 2%, state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli's office on Wednesday announced.

New York sets its property tax limit to the rate of inflation or at 2%, whichever is lower. This is the fourth time since 2019 that municipal governments had their tax levy growth set at that amount.

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New York restaurants still struggle with staff shortages, rising costs

BY Tim Williams New York State

More than two years since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurants that were able to survive the initial lockdowns are facing new crises of staff shortages and rising costs due to inflation.

Melissa Fleischut, president and CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association, told Capital Tonight that restaurants are changing their schedules and offering more benefits for workers as a remedy.

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Hochul pushed to approve economic development transparency bills

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A coalition of good-government organizations and progressive organizations this week urged Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign a pair of bills heading to her desk that are meant to boost transparency and accountability for major economic development spending projects.

The bills are aimed at boost openness for community advisory committees at economic development projects by requiring their meetings be open to the public and have meeting materials be posted to the website of the Empire State Development Corp., New York state government's chief job creating entity.

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New York cryptomining advocates urge moratorium veto from Hochul

BY Tim Williams New York State

At the 11th hour of this year's session, New York legislators passed a two-year moratorium on cryptocurrency mining operations in the state.

Despite environmentalists calling for her signature, Gov. Kathy Hochul has yet to sign the legislation, which crypto advocates are hoping she will veto.

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Upstate Democratic leaders urge Hochul to pause cryptomining

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Eight top officials of Democratic county committees from the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier regions of upstate New York on Tuesday urged Gov. Kathy Hochul to put a pause on proof-of-work cryptomining in the state.

The county chairs, in a letter to Hochul, called on the governor to sign a bill that would lead to a two-year moratorium for the process, which has come under crticisim from environmental organizations in New York.

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New York business groups push back on anti-trust provision

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A coalition of business organizations in New York is pushing back against a federal proposal aimed at the tech sector as a state-level version of the measure has stalled in Albany.

At issue is a proposal in Congress meant to address the power of the tech sector and e-commerce firms.

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New York pension fund leveraged for political spending disclosure

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Five U.S. companies will be disclosing their political giving after reaching an agreement with New York's pension fund, state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli on Thursday announced.

The disclosure agreement reached with the companies comes after the fund used its leverage as a shareholder to push for the change.

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Does New York have a cushion to weather a recession?

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York state may have some padding for a potential economic recession amid concerns of a broader downturn as interest rates rise in order reduce inflation not seen in 40 years.

Comptroller Tom DiNapoli in a Capital Tonight interview on Wednesday pointed to the money stuffed into New York's reserve fund — a rainy day account for when the economic weather turns bad.

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NY Sen. Mike Gianaris calls for federal action on corporate power measure

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York Deputy Senate Majority Leader Mike Gianaris is making a push this month for congressional lawmakers to approve a measure meant to scale back corporate power in the tech sector.

Gianaris, a Queens Democrat, sent a letter to top lawmakers in Congress urging them to take up legislation that would address the rise of tech companies in the social media and e-commerce sectors.

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UAlbany professor explains inflation and recession risks

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Surging inflation and gas prices have led to concerns of a potential recession and the economic pain that could be induced as a result of increasing interest rates to cool off the economy.

The spiking consumer prices are due, in part, to the injection of cash into the economy of the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the global uncertainty created by the war in Ukraine.

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Despite inflation, hiring continued in New York in May

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York state's private sector added more than 27,000 jobs last month as hiring continued on a similar pace with the rest of the country despite spiking inflation.

The state's overall unemployment rate declined from 4.5% in April to 4.4% in May, according to the state Department of Labor on Thursday.

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New York attorney general: Gas stations must honor tax holiday

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Democratic state Attorney General Letitia James on Thursday warned gas stations to honor New York's seven-month gas tax suspension that has been in effect for the last two weeks.

Consumers are facing record gas prices over the last several weeks. AAA reported the average per gallon price of gas in New York has pierced $5.

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Inflation a likely factor in New York sales tax growth

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The good news: Sales tax collections in New York continue to soar, a sign consumers are not slowing down their spending even as storm clouds gather on the economy.

The bad news: The boosted revenue for local governments is likely due to the ongoing inflationary prices consumers are still paying over the last several months.

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As inflation costs rise, Hochul says New York can weather downturn

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany
UPDATED 7:13 PM ET Jun. 10, 2022

As the rapid rise of inflation has fueled concerns over a potential economic recession, Gov. Kathy Hochul on Friday said the state is ready to handle a potential downturn.

Hochul met privately with her cabinet on Friday morning to discuss a range of issues, but noted the economic concerns facing the state were included in the discussion.

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New York among outlier states for unemployment trust fund debt

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York is among a small group of states that still owes billions of dollars to the federal unemployment trust fund, an analysis released Friday by state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli found.

The debt for New York stands at $8.1 billion, second only to California.

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Will high gas prices lead to political fallout in New York?

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

It's been more than a week since New York's partial suspension of its per-gallon gas taxes took effect, but drivers are still paying 50 cents more than they did a month ago.

With the cost of gasoline still high across New York, some lawmakers are calling for action on the federal level as New Yorkers continue to be pummeled by inflation and rising concerns over the health of the economy.

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New York businesses face a 'recipe for disaster' with inflation, gas prices

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York businesses are facing multiple financial headwinds — high gas prices, inflation, supply chain woes and the difficulty in finding qualified workers.

Add the high cost of unemployment taxes in New York, and pro-business organizations like NFIB New York are concerned lawmakers and Gov. Kathy Hochul are yet to take up any measures meant to alleviate the costs.

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New York lawmaker calls for federal gas tax action

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Democratic state Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara on Tuesday urged the federal government to suspend gasoline taxes on the national level as a seven-month partial suspension of state gas taxes takes effect in New York.

Santabarbara earlier this year had called for the state gas tax suspension, which was later adopted in New York's budget. The per gallon cost of gasoline in New York is $4.93, according to AAA.

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Anti-age discrimination measure advances in New York

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A bill meant to bar employers from requiring people applying for a job to disclose their age, date of birth or graduation year is advancing in the state Legislature as lawmakers close out the legislative session this week.

The measure, backed by state Sen. Liz Krueger, is meant to crackdown on the potential for age discrimination in hiring. It has the backing of AARP New York, which called the issue of age discrimination in the workplace "all too prevalent."

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New York's seven-month gas tax holiday starts Wednesday

BY Olivia Leach New York State
UPDATED 8:28 PM ET May. 31, 2022

With summer unofficially underway, drivers across New York are about to finally see some relief at the pump.

Motorists across the state and nation have been feeling some pain at the pump lately.

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UCF expert says Biden's plan to fight inflation 'not likely to have any effect'

BY Rebecca Turco Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. — President Joe Biden outlined a three-part plan to combat inflation Tuesday, however, Sean Snaith, who leads the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Economic Forecasting, said the president’s plan isn’t likely to have any effect on inflation rates.

Snaith attributes the root of our economic problems to lockdowns at the start of the pandemic and the trillions in infrastructure spending to help address it.

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Money flows to New York following mobile sports betting approval

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Mobile sports betting has meant big money for New York state, Gov. Kathy Hochul's office on Tuesday announced.

New York in the last six months has scored $267 million from sports wagering in the five months since bets from mobile devices like smartphones and tablets went into effect. Of that money, $263 million came from mobile sports betting since Jan. 8.

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New York business leaders urge pause on farmworker overtime change

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

This past March, U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado urged Gov. Kathy Hochul to reconsider a lowering of the threshold for overtime pay for agriculture workers from 60 hours a week to 40. Now, a day after he was sworn in as lieutenant governor, business leaders like Brian Sampson hope he's still an ally.

"We ask him to understand that in his role when he was in Congress, he felt that it was bad for his district. In his role as lieutenant governor, he has to understand it is bad for the entire state," said Associated Builders and Contractors President Brian Sampson.

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Will the New York Assembly pass economic development reform?

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

Since the Buffalo Billion scandal in 2016, government watchdog groups have been trying to pass a selection of bills that would restore oversight, as well as create more transparency around state economic development deals.

“There are a number of different bills that would go a long way to restoring some sanity to a rather chaotic economic development system,” Ron Deutsch, director of New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness, told Capital Tonight. “For the last decade, I would suggest, we have been subjected to what I like to call ‘Cuomo-nomic Development’, where Gov. Cuomo was really trying to take the reins of the economic development programs, and moving things in the directions that benefitted him and the folks that he wanted to benefit.”

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Pre-pandemic, New York's resident taxpayer growth slowed

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The number of resident taxpayers in New York state grew at a slower rate than the number of non-residents over a four-year period prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, a report released on Friday by Comptroller Tom DiNapoli's office found.

The report, which reviewed the period between 2015 and 2019, found resident taxpayers increased by 3.1% compared to non-resident filers increasing by 13.6%. The slower growth is attributed in part to the larger number of part-year filers moving out of New York than moving in.

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New York's unemployment rate fell to 4.5% in April

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York's unemployment rate continued its modest downward trend, falling from 4.6% to 4.5% in April, the state Department of Labor announced Thursday.

The state's economy added 23,600 jobs in the private sector that month, a 0.3% increase to more than 7.9 million jobs. The U.S. private-sector job count also grew at a similar rate.

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Hochul: Resources available to address formula shortage

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York state officials are moving to address the baby formula shortage that has affected supply chains across the country.

Gov. Kathy Hochul's office in a statement announced state health officials and the New York State WIC Program is monitoring supply chain disruptions that could affect participants and consumers.

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Credit union argues New York public banking bill will help underserved communities

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

Last year, New York Sen. James Sanders introduced the “New York Public Banking Act," which would make it easier for public banks to operate in New York. It failed to pass, but he’s advocating for the act again this year (S1762B/A8290A).

Public banks are controlled by a government body rather than by private investors (it’s not a bank where you go to open up a checking account). They can also be institutional lenders — banks that other banks turn to for loans.

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New York business groups urge action on billions in unemployment insurance debt

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York owes billions of dollars in unemployment insurance to the federal government and advocates are worried the lingering effect could have long-term consequences for businesses in the state.

When businesses and public gathering spaces were shuttered two years ago in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of New Yorkers lost their jobs. After billions of dollars in unemployment was paid, businesses may be left holding the bag. Justin Wilcox of Upstate United said firms are already struggling with inflation, hiring and supply chain concerns.

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New York businesses encouraged to weigh in on Roe v. Wade debate

BY Kate Lisa New York State

Business experts are charging corporations across New York and the nation to weigh in on the U.S. Supreme Court's draft decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, saying businesses will play a critical role in helping people navigate the consequences surrounding the moral challenge.

Kathryn Wylde, president and CEO of nonprofit Partnership for New York City, wrote an op-ed in Barron's on Friday that businesses must evaluate the impact the potential court decision will have on their employees, employee benefits, policies and charitable giving and prepare to educate their staff about available reproductive health care where they work.

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New York officials to study 'underbanked' communities

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York regulators will conduct a study of communities that are lacking banking options and other basic financial services under a measure approved on Thursday by Gov. Kathy Hochul.

The bill seeks to address a long-standing concern in low-income communities that banking options are limited, leading people to use check cashing services or payday loan businesses that often use large fees to process payments. Hochul's office also announced she has signed a bill that is meant to protect consumers by barring the issuing of unsolicited mail-loan checks.

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In New York minimum wage debate, both sides point to inflation

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Progressive lawmakers, labor unions and advocates are calling for another increase in New York's minimum wage, arguing the high cost of living makes it necessary for low-wage workers to make ends meet.

But Republicans are pointing to record inflation over the last several months, arguing another hike in the wage law will only hurt businesses that are already in a sustained struggle following the COVID-19 pandemic and the cost of goods.

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State comptroller: Consumer costs rising sharply in New York City area

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Consumer prices have risen sharply in the New York City area over a 12 month period ending in March, according to Comptroller Tom DiNapoli's office in an analysis released on Friday.

Federal data show the 6.1% increase in prices between March 2021 and last month were driven in large part by double-digit growth in energy and transportation costs. At the same time, price increases in the New York City area are set to outpace the growth in earnings.

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Deadline nearing for New York counties to cap gas sales tax starting this summer

BY Ryan Whalen Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Counties in New York have until May 2 to cap sales tax on gasoline at either $4, $3 or $2 per gallon in order for that relief to go into effect on June 1.

New York State Association of Counties Deputy Director Mark LaVigne said seveal counties — Nassau, Suffolk, Onondaga, Oswego, Monroe,Dutchess and Oneida — have already taken some action.

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Local officials in New York call for public banking bill

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A bill that would enable the creation of public banks in New York has won the backing of dozens of local elected officials in 19 cities.

The officials in a letter to Gov. Kathy Hochul and top lawmakers in the state Legislature released Monday called for the passage of the measure, which has stalled over the last year in Albany.

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Unemployment rate continues to fall in New York, but still lags nation

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The unemployment rate in New York state continued to drop in March as the private sector added 27,500 jobs to the economy, the state Department of Labor on Thursday announced.

New York's growth in jobs, at about 0.3%, matched the same rate of increase in the country in March. But the state as a whole continues to lag the rest of the country on average in its jobless rate, which stands at 3.6% nationally.

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Financial worries fall for local governments in New York after federal aid flows in

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Only a handful of city and village governments are facing fiscal stress after billions of dollars of federal aid flowed to New York in the last year, buoying budgets along the way, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli found in a report released Wednesday.

The news could have positive implications for taxpayers and residents who rely on services local governments provide amid rising consumer costs and as spending returns to levels seen prior to the pandemic.

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Business groups: New York budget failed to get unemployment insurance fix

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

An upstate New York-focused business coalition on Friday criticized the final state budget agreement announced on Thursday by Gov. Kathy Hochul for not including measures meant to relieve the burden of unemployment insurance debt on the private sector.

At issue is the soaring cost of unemployment insurance for businesses incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on public gatherings and businesses.

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Coalition wants to redefine New York 'economic development'

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

When New York Gov. Kathy Hochul took office in August, she promised greater transparency and accountability. But over the past seven months, good government groups have argued that she’s dropped the ball on those issues. They point to her voluminous fundraising among individuals and groups that have business before the state, as well as the $850 million agreement she just hammered out with the millionaire Pegula family for a new stadium to house the Buffalo Bills.

Now, a coalition of groups, including New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness, the New York State Council of Churches and unions affiliated with SUNY and CUNY are saying the public is losing faith in state government, and in particular, the way New York state utilizes taxpayer dollars under the umbrella of economic development.

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Local control at issue in downstate New York casino talks

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

As state lawmakers negotiate whether to extend up to three casino licenses in the New York City metropolitan region, there's a debate over how much control local government officials and community leaders should have in deciding where the casinos would be built.

Lawmakers expect a final agreement on the casino licensing plan for New York City and the surrounding region will be included in a finalized state budget plan, which is expected to be approved in the coming days.

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New York lawmakers consider bills to crack down on pandemic price gouging

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York lawmakers are considering bills meant to crack down on COVID-19 pandemic-related price gouging and fraud.

Two bills on Tuesday cleared the state Assembly's Consumer Affairs and Protection Committee that would boost penalties for fraud and include medications that are facing supply shortages on a list of goods that cannot be sold at high prices under New York's anti-price gouging statute.

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Gas tax rebate or suspension remain on New York state budget table

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A rebate program in which households would receive a check or an outright suspension of the state taxes on gasoline remain on the negotiating table in the state budget talks, New York lawmakers on Tuesday said.

New York officials are discussing how to address the spiking the cost of gas, which remains above $4 a gallon in many parts of the state.

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New York lawmakers want gas tax relief 'in perpetuity'

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

As state lawmakers and Gov. Kathy Hochul negotiate potential ways of addressing the increased cost of gasoline in New York, some Republicans are calling for long-term relief.

But environmental organizations and transit organizations are skeptical a gas tax suspension or cap would have any benefit for the consumer, while at the same time starve mass transit systems and road and bridge projects of needed funding.

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New York's pension fund divests from Russian interests

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The New York state pension fund has divested from Russian companies and will continue to block new investments in firms connected to the country, state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli on Friday announced.

DiNapoli's divestment is the latest effort by New York state officials in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, now entering its second month.

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