Thursday, June 23, 2011

New York Times Thursday, June 23, 2011

Danny Hakim reports: “The state’s largest public-employee union, acknowledging the pressures on government workers around the nation, agreed on Wednesday to major wage and benefits concessions in a pact to avoid sweeping layoffs. The five-year agreement between Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, and the Civil Service Employees Association, includes a three-year wage freeze, the first furloughs ever for state workers and an increase in the amount employees must pay toward their health insurance.”

Michael Grynbaum notes: “The New York taxi industry has struggled to find support in Albany as it tries to block a Bloomberg administration plan that would make it easier for livery cabs to pick up passengers outside crowded parts of Manhattan. But the industry can count one potentially powerful ally in the Capitol: Mario M. Cuomo, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s father. Former Governor Cuomo is a longtime board member at Medallion Financial, one of the industry’s most powerful companies. The company is a prime opponent of the bill — and a generous supporter of Andrew Cuomo’s political career.”

Patrick McGeehan writes: “Utility customers would be able to pay off the cost of making their homes more energy efficient through charges on their monthly electric bills and the process of getting permits for new power plants would be streamlined under a bill that state lawmakers in Albany were expected to pass on Wednesday night.”

Winnie Hu notes: “For decades, leaders of the City University of New York and the State University of New York have chafed under the whims of state lawmakers who approved double-digit tuition increases in some years and none in others, leaving administrators struggling to make ends meet with little ability to plan ahead. But in what some university officials and faculty members are hailing as a major victory, legislative leaders in Albany agreed on Tuesday to a policy that would, for the first time, set a fixed rate for tuition increases: $300 annually for the next five years. In the first year alone, the increase is expected to create an additional $50 million in revenue for CUNY, and $40 million for SUNY.”

Cara Buckley notes: “For years, the quickest way for landlords to unshackle their apartments from rent regulation has been to renovate units as soon as the tenants moved out, allowing them to significantly raise rents, to free-market rates. Details are still being hammered out, but under a deal reached in Albany this week, landlords will soon have more difficulty using this strategy, potentially saving many apartments from deregulation.”

Barbaro & Kaplan look at how folks in Albany – who thought the session would end earlier this week -- are running out of clean clothes.

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