Governor Cuomo's Executive Budget Proposal Summary

January 28, 2014
By Assemblymember Patricia A. Fahy

Last week Governor Cuomo unveiled his proposed Executive Budget for this fiscal year. The state legislature has until March 31 to pass a budget, and assuming it will be passed on time, it will be the first time since 1973 that the State of New York passed four consecutive budgets in a row.

Extended Unemployment Benefits Expire This Weekend

December 27, 2013
By Steven Wishnia

This weekend, 1.3 million Americans who have been out of work for more than six months will file for their last unemployment checks. The bipartisan federal budget deal worked out earlier this month did not continue the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which has provided those benefits since June 2008.

New York City Jobs Report November 2013

December 26, 2013
By Stephanie West

New York City's unemployment rate in November 2013 is higher than the state's (7.4%) and the nation's (7.0%). New York City's unemployment rate has been higher than the nation's for 26 months. New York City gained 113,700 private sector jobs since November 2012.

Liu Statement on Tax-Payer-Funded Subsidies

December 11, 2013

New York, N.Y. – City Comptroller John C. Liu made the following statement in response to questions about his vote against $42 million in tax breaks and other benefits for the planned hotel and retail development at Willets Point: “The EDC’s projected benefits of new jobs and tax benefits from the Willets Point retail development seem to ignore the negative impact on jobs and tax revenue from the surrounding retail areas in downtown Flushing and Corona, and the 20th Avenue retail complex in College Point. 

Watch Out For The Party Poopers

December 6, 2013
By Salvatore J. Armao, CPA/PFS, CFP, CFE
Managing Partner, Armao LLP

The Department of Labor recently completed a round of audits of collectively bargained apprenticeship and other training programs and scholarship funds. The DOL focused on these particular plans due to abuses found in some routine audits, causing the department to expand its investigation. If you are involved in some capacity with a Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC) or other types of industry training and scholarship programs, chances are that you experienced one of these audits.

No Money for Wage Increases in Mayor Bloomberg's Budget Plan

November 22, 2013
By Harry Nespoli

“Mayor Bloomberg’s Financial Plan released Thursday November 21, 2013 is being touted as extraordinary since it projects two years of balanced budgets -  FYs 2014 and 2015. The problem is that it sets aside essentially no money for wage increases. It is like a home owner developing a budget without counting the mortgage as an expense. It is misleading and avoids responsible budgeting. No Mayor has left office projecting zero increases for three years.

Protecting Your Sensitive Banking Information Online

November 7, 2013
 Michael Fina, Vice President / Institutional Banking, First Trade Union Bank

With online and mobile platforms settling in as the preferred personal banking channels, it is important for you to understand the ways in which you can and should safeguard your sensitive information, as well as the ways which your banking provider should protect you.

BP Markowitz Statement on Passing of Congressman Major Owens

October 25, 2013
“Congressman Major Owens was an intellectual giant in public service and a true believer that government exists to advance the quality of life for its residents. He will be dearly missed by all Brooklynites, especially those who were fortunate enough to benefit from his leadership. Jamie and I extend our condolences to the entire Owens family.”   

Raising Water Rates Again is Unacceptable

October 22, 2013
By Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer
Scott Stringer

 New York, NY -- “The announcement that New Yorkers will be burdened with another water rate increase is unacceptable and unsustainable. “Water infrastructure, like roads, rails, energy, and airports, must be funded from Washington, as well as from Albany and New York City. The U.S. government pays about 80 percent of the costs for replacing roads, bridges, and airports.

Fast-food workers' fight for $15 and a union is "Hot," according to Rolling Stone

October 4, 2013
By Stephanie West

The magazine's 2013 "Hot List," out on newsstands this week, features  fast-food workers' nationwide campaign to raise wages. "Something extraordinary happened before Labor Day weekend: Workers at more than 1,000 fast-food restaurants in 60 cities went on strike," the Hot List profile on the fast-food campaign proclaimed.

The Affordable Health Care Act and Unions

October 1, 2013
By Neal Tepel

The AFL-CIO resolution regarding the Affordable Health Care Act passed at the September 2013 convention this past September put the Obama administration on notice that issues and concerns with the legislation must be addressed soon. Several unions at the convention said the Obama administration's interpretation of the Affordable Health Care Act would virtually trash multi-employer health care plans, which cover 20 million workers, retirees, and their families.

NYS Revenue Increasing

September 24, 2013
By Stephanie West

Albany, NY - Tax revenues for the first five months of the state fiscal year were $69.8 million over updated budget projections, according to the August cash report recently released by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. Year-to-date tax collections are up 10.3 percent from the same period last year, largely due to strong Personal Income Tax (PIT) collections in April. August state tax collections fell 5.1 percent from 2012, primarily because of fewer collection days than last August.

Federal Legislative Update

September 23, 2013
By Stephanie West

Washington, DC - H.J. Res 59 keeps funding through December 15th at a level of $986.3 billion that assumes a continuation of the across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration. House Democrats oppose the $986 billion level as too low and both House and Senate Democrats solidly reject the attempt to defund Obamacare. President Obama has stated that he will veto this bill and it's a non-starter in the Senate.  

Feeling confident that your organization is operating efficiently? Not so fast!

September 17, 2013
By Salvatore J. Armao, CPA/PFS, CFP, CFE

You’ve had your financial statements audited or reviewed. So now you feel confident that your organization is operating efficiently, is protected from misappropriation of assets and serious accounting errors and that you are in compliance with government filing requirements and regulations. Maybe not.

Farmers Need Support

September 13, 2013
Congressman Paul Tonko

The Farm Bill is set to expire at the end of September. That means, if Congress doesn’t act now, the law reverts back to what it used to be in the 1930's and 1940's! And, even more problematic, are the 3-4 million Americans who will be forced off of nutritional supplement programs like SNAP – most of them children and seniors – who rely on this for their basic dietary needs.

AFL-CIO Housing Trust Generates Union Jobs In Chicago

August 28, 2013
By Neal Tepel

Chicago, Ill. -  One of the many projects of the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust (HIT) is the rehabilitation of a 26-story residential tower on Chicago's Near South Side at 2101 South Michigan Avenue.  The work on the aging property will generate approximately 245 union construction jobs for the 250-unit building.

Additional information