Head Of Cuomo-Founded Homeless Agency Resigns

Written by City & State on . Posted in Other News, Social Services

As Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration probes oversized salaries for nonprofit executives whose organizations receive state funds, one group with a special relationship to the governor no longer has its highly paid chief executive – who is married to Cuomo’s cousin. Laurence Belinsky, the CEO and president of HELP USA, resigned from the homeless housing and services organization last month “to pursue private housing development,” spokesman Lawrence Cann said. Belinsky received more than $500,000 a year in compensation in 2008 and… [More]

The Metamorphosis

Written by Laura Nahmias on . Posted in Health Care, Social Services

It took Brad Pivar two years to find someone willing and able to take his son Scott to a local park once a week. Scott has a developmental disorder called “Fragile X syndrome” that leaves him entirely nonverbal. New York state helps pay for a care plan that includes weekly trips outside, but like other well-intentioned programs connected to the state’s Office for People With Developmental Disabilities, it suffered in practice. “It sounded great,” Pivar said. “The agencies were never… [More]

Poorly Funded

Written by Jon Lentz on . Posted in Budget/Taxes, Housing, News & Features, Social Services

When Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled his new antipoverty plan this month, he said he could no longer accept—“not today and not ever”—that more black and Latino young men in the city end up poor or imprisoned than in the career of their choice. But the mayor will likely have to live with the disparities a while longer, given the limited scope of his new $127.5 million initiative, the wavering U.S. economy and deep budget cuts that may only get deeper.… [More]

A Class By Himself

Written by City & State on . Posted in Education, Interviews, News & Features, Social Services

As the youngest person to head the Children’s Aid Society in 150 years, Richard Buery Jr., 39, arrived on the scene with a vision of social entrepreneurship. A Brooklyn native, Buery spent his years after Harvard and Yale Law School founding two companies aimed at helping needy children and their families. He spoke candidly about his educational vision for the city’s most vulnerable children, and about how New York’s government is failing to do its part to help those children… [More]

Cuomo’s First Report Card

Written by City & State on . Posted in Banking/Insurance, Budget/Taxes, Campaigns/Elections, Economic Development, Education, Energy, Environment, Government Operations, Health Care, Other Features, Public Safety, Social Services

Goal What He Said* What Got Done GRADE Legalize same-sex marriage “We believe in justice for all; let’s pass marriage equality this year once and for all.” Cuomo stunned New York by shepherding same-sex marriage through the Republican-controlled Senate, sparking talk of him running for president in 2016. A+ Pass a balanced budget without borrowing “We need a state spending cap and we need to close this $10 billion gap without any borrowing.” The $132.5 billion state budget closed a… [More]

Coniberal? Progractionary?

Written by City & State on . Posted in Campaigns/Elections, Government Operations, Opinion, Social Services

I used to be able to recognize lefties by smell, touch or sound. They cared about progressive taxation, economic justice for the poor, a decent level of government services and the environment and had a healthy suspicion of big business. Somewhere in the last six months they slipped one past me. Some leading Dems are tossing most of that stuff overboard. They are embracing Republican economic policies, while still clutching hard to Democratic ideals on identity politics. Gov. Andrew Cuomo… [More]

Sound-bites: Insurance

Written by Laura Nahmias on . Posted in Banking/Insurance, Health Care, Social Services, Spotlight

Jessica Wisneski Legislative and campaigns director, Public Policy and Education Fund of New York/Citizen Action of New York A major priority of the new department must be to get the new health insurance exchange, required by the Affordable Care Act, up and running once legislation is passed to establish that new entity this legislative session. The DFS must be a strong partner with the exchange, protecting New York’s consumers from any improper practices of the health insurance industry. Stacey Rowland… [More]

The New Fraud

Written by Laura Nahmias on . Posted in Government Operations, Health Care, Public Safety, Social Services

Brooklyn is ground zero in the latest form of organized Medicaid abuse—home-care aides who bilk the state by claiming to have been in two or more places at the same time. State health officials and law enforcement have recently begun auditing home-care agencies—most of which are located in Kings County—and have noticed a slew of aides with contradictory billing reports. After the state’s Medicaid program paid an agency, the auditors would receive a conflict report—“a report that says one aide… [More]

The Blue Divide

Written by City & State on . Posted in Budget/Taxes, Energy, Environment, Government Operations, Housing, Labor/Unions, Social Services

Within the first six months of his administration, the new governor cut education and health-care spending, rejected a tax on millionaires, won agreement to cap property tax increases, pushed for concessions from unions and fought to reduce pension benefits. Bragging rights for a Republican, perhaps, but this is Democrat Andrew Cuomo’s record thus far. So what must he do to keep himself in the good graces of the liberal-leaning base of his party in one of the bluest of the… [More]