This Week in Albany

Week ending December 20, 2013

Some Facilities Will Remain Open Under Amended OMH Plan

The Greater Binghamton Health Center, Elmira, and St. Lawrence Psychiatric Centers will remain open with reduced capacities under an amended “Regional Centers of Excellence” plan. It is unclear how these changes will impact the rest of the Office of Mental Health’s plan.

CSEA President Danny Donohue said that while this is welcome news for families in these communities, there are still many areas of mental health care and policy that need improvement in every part of New York.

“CSEA can only hope that this is an opportunity for broader and more meaningful action,” President Donohue said.

Tax Incentives Have Failed in New York

Recently, two separate commissions appointed by Governor Cuomo released reports regarding taxes in New York State. One of the commissions, led by Peter Solomon and H. Carl McCall, utilized outside experts to prepare a report to analyze and evaluate business tax credits in New York. The analysis found that tax credits generally benefit a only a small number of businesses, and that there has been no conclusive evidence from research studies since the 1950s that business tax incentives have an impact on net economic gains to states. Despite this fact, the second commission chaired by former Governor Pataki and H. Carl McCall recommended providing even more tax credits to businesses.

Futhermore, David Cay Johnston, a nationally known economics journalist, published an article detailing how New York State has given tax incentives to businesses that actually eliminated jobs. According to Mr. Johnston, New York has given businesses roughly $10 billion over the past nine years but has seen a loss of 175,000 jobs.

Click here to read Mr. Johnston’s article.

This Week in Albany will return on January 3, 2014.

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year.