Sharing is Caring

Municipal leaders are taking a second look at how their governments operate following the adoption of a pet program by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in this year’s budget.

The County-Wide Shared Services Property Tax Savings Plan (or CWSSPTSP as no one calls it) requires counties outside of New York City to draft plans for sharing services in order to cut costs and find efficiencies. A new report from the Rockefeller Institute, in conjunction with the Benjamin Center and  the Center for Technology in Government, reviewed the 34 plans submitted this fall and analyzed the potential savings.

Jim Malatras, president of the Rockefeller Institute, joined Poozer Politics to explain the mechanics of the program, highlighted interesting proposals and identified the potential benefits (large and small) for taxpayers.

The conversation also addressed the criticism that this process fails to address major cost drivers, like pensions, and whether the analysis has been too political.

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The Cyrus Vance Rules

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance’s campaign finance practices appears to have inspired new legislation.

Assemblyman Dan Quart

Assemblyman Dan Quart, a Manhattan Democrat, has introduced legislation that would impost special restrictions on campaign contributions for district attorney candidates. Candidates would be required to disclose any contributions from law firms that represents defendants in criminal proceedings and there will be limits on contributions from people or corporate entities that have “legal dealings” with a district attorney’s office. Continue reading “The Cyrus Vance Rules”

No Fees for Consumer Protection

An episode of Planet Money made me think about freezing my credit and the urging of Jon Oliver on Sunday motivated me to act. Now two state legislators have introduced a bill that would prohibit credit reporting companies from charging me for this safety measure.

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz and Sen. David Carcucci recently crafted legislation that requires hacked credit reporting agencies to provide lifetime identify theft prevention services and prohibits fees relating to the implementation of security freezes on consumer credit reports. If enacted, the companies would be required to tell affected consumers about these rights. Continue reading “No Fees for Consumer Protection”

The “No Dragging People From Planes” Legislation

Assemblyman Steve Englebright won’t let the United Airlines controversy die.

One month after a man was dragged off a plane, the Long Island Democrat introduced a bill on Friday prohibiting the involuntary removal of a passenger because the airline overbooked the flight. Anyone who violates this prohibition, under the proposed law, could be required to pay damages

“There is no excuse for an aircraft operator to forcible remove any person who has paid for an assigned seat on such aircraft,” read the bill memo, which goes on to note that people often make “specific arrangements” to travel and interruptions can be  “extremely inconvenient.”

The prohibition would only apply if a person paid for their fare and had an “assigned seat.”

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Trump and his Taxes

Could New York post President Donald Trump’s state tax returns online?

That’s what a bill from Sen. Brad Hoylman would require the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance to do.

Following up on his proposal to require presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns in order to qualify for New York’s votes in the Electoral College, Hoylman has introduced a bill that would require the state to post online the income tax returns for the president, vice president, the state’s senators in Congress and any other statewide elected officials, such as the governor.  The state income tax returns would be posted for every year the elected official remains in office, according to the legislation.

“New Yorkers deserve to know whether elected officials represented the state are paying their fair share of taxes or hold potential financial conflicts of interest,” reads the bill memo. Continue reading “Trump and his Taxes”