Amidst the national controversy over the creation of health insurance exchanges or marketplaces, the launch and early months of New York's official health plan marketplace stand out. Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Departments of Health and Financial Services deserve recognition for an impressive start, even as further refinements are underway.
Central to addressing the challenge of income inequality that Mayor Bill de Blasio has articulated so passionately is the need to ensure New York City's economy continues to grow and more New Yorkers are employed in middle-class jobs.
It is likely that the Financial Plan Mayor Bill de Blasio is scheduled to release in February will significantly increase municipal spending beyond the amounts previously planned by the Bloomberg Administration.
CBC's Director of New York City Studies Maria Doulis pens an op-ed in the New York Times' Room for Debate on how the next mayor can achieve important economic development goals: more jobs, a more diversified industry mix, a larger middle class and enhanced entrepreneurship.
A study released earlier this month by The Economist Intelligence Unit held good news for New York City, which ranked first among 120 global cities based on ability to attract capital, businesses and talent. But the competition is fierce, and is not limited to international megacities like London, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Tokyo.
As the New York City mayor's race builds momentum, candidates are discussing a wide range of issues -- but not how they would tackle the biggest challenge the next mayor will certainly face: negotiating municipal labor contracts.
Taxpayers are at a disadvantage in collective bargaining with police and firefighter unions in New York state because of the way binding arbitration is done. The culprits are provisions of a statute, known as the Taylor Law, that expire July 1.
The growing cost of health insurance for city employees and retirees has to be brought under control. The City's employee unions, whose contracts have expired, may prefer to wait and negotiate with the next mayor, but the election won't change the fiscal reality: the City's share of health insurance premiums for city workers and retirees is high in comparison to norms in the private and public sectors.
Human capital is a hot topic. Thriving in the information economy requires a highly skilled workforce with specialized expertise and an ability to innovate. Attracting such a workforce is essential to New York's ability to retain strength in core industries and cultivate emerging ones.
The cost of health insurance for New York City public employees and retirees is projected to grow by almost 40% by 2016 — rising to nearly $7 billion a year. That growth will amount to $1.5 billion of the $1.9 billion budget deficit projected for 2016.