NEW YORK (Reuters) – For Niagara Falls, a city in New York staring at the prospect of insolvency in the face of a weak local economy and soaring employee costs, diverting money earmarked for pensions to cover short-term spending needs seemed like the only option.
“We don’t like doing it, so this is sort of a last ditch strategy for us,” Mayor Paul Dyster told Reuters in an interview. Postponing pension payments was the way to avoid cutting back on town services, he said.
, May 5 (Reuters) – Rebecca Hoskins poked through
the debris in her flood-wrecked house: a TV here, a light
fixture there. Someone had been in and taken down the curtains.
She blinked back a tear. It was a crisp early spring day and her
first visit in year-and-a half to what had been her home for 15
Hoskins, a supervising bus driver from Essex County in New
York State’s Adirondack mountains, is one of 43 homeowners in
the area still waiting to be made whole after Hurricane Irene
blew through in August 2011, turning the babbling mountain
brooks into a furious wall of water that washed away their
NEW YORK, May 5 (Reuters) – Joseph Szczesny’s modest Staten
Island home was inundated when Superstorm Sandy slammed into the
U.S. East Coast in October.
Now six months later, the 63-year-old bridge repairman and
his fiance are all but alone in their Oakwood Beach neighborhood
on the borough’s flood-prone Atlantic seafront. And they have
NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg presented an updated budget proposal for the coming fiscal year on Thursday with largely cosmetic changes before the budget goes to the city’s legislature for debate.
Bloomberg presented the adjusted figures for fiscal year 2013-14 as a last update to his $70 billion budget presented in January. The city’s current fiscal year ends on June 30.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – As if Suffolk County, home of the Hamptons and playground of the rich and famous on New York’s Long Island, didn’t have enough financial problems already.
A regulatory filing on behalf of the county dated April 16 shows it accidentally missed an interest payment on some of its debt, including $76.1 million of public improvement bonds, putting the county technically in default. Oops.
NEW YORK, April 17 (Reuters) – When Thomas Herndon, a
student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s doctoral
program in economics, spotted possible errors made by two
eminent Harvard economists in an influential research paper, he
called his girlfriend over for a second look.
As they poured over the spreadsheets Herndon had requested
from Harvard’s Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, which formed
the basis for a widely quoted 2010 study, they spotted what they
believed were glaring errors.
ALBANY, New York (Reuters) – New York state’s top financial watchdog will name “dozens” of local governments that are in financial difficulty in the coming weeks as part of a new monitoring system designed to head off drastic measures such as bankruptcy or external oversight.
The new system is being introduced by New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli as many U.S. towns, cities and counties face dire financial straits. Last week, a federal court deemed Stockton, California, fit for municipal bankruptcy. In Michigan, an emergency manager took over Detroit earlier this year.
April 2 (Reuters) – After a court decision allowing
Stockton, California to push ahead with its bankruptcy,
investors in the $3.7 trillion U.S. municipal bond market will
have a ringside seat as the nation’s biggest public pension
system and bondholders duke it out.
In one corner is the 800-pound gorilla, the behemoth $254
billion California Public Employees’ Retirement System
(CalPERS), which is set to battle with bondholders over who will
have to take a haircut as the broke city looks to reduce its
debt. Public employees are also in the match, as the city is
expected to renegotiate labor contracts.
NEW YORK, April 1 (Reuters) – Federal authorities have
dramatically lowered the amount that New York state can claim
from the federal government for certain medical services,
costing the state an estimated $1.2 billion.
The Center for Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency
that administers the nation’s medical insurance system for
people on low incomes, cut the per-patient reimbursement rate
for patients in developmental centers to $1,200 from $5,100 from
April 1, according to CMS documents seen by Reuters.
NEW YORK, March 21 (Reuters) – New York state’s leaders have
agreed a tentative $135 billion budget deal for fiscal year
2013-2014 that raises the minimum wage, gives tax breaks to
middle-class families and businesses, and extends a tax on high
The deal was announced in Albany, the state capital, after
days of closed-door wrangling as lawmakers sought to reconcile
three separate proposals.