De Blasio said he was open to negotiating the issue when he was seeking labor support to secure the nomination. More recently, hes questioned whether the city could afford retroactive compensation, after winning endorsements from most city unions. We have to balance our budget; everyone in labor knows it, de Blasio said last week during a news briefing. And that $8 billion figure that assumes full retroactive pay, Ive said very publicly thats not going to happen. In another challenge, the cost of worker and retiree health insurance, now about $6 billion, will rise to $8.3 billion by 2018 unless workers start paying part of their premiums, Bloomberg has said. School Plan De Blasios signature issue, a tax surcharge on income above $500,000 to raise $530 million for universal pre-kindergarten and after-school programs, was belittled by his primary rivals. They argued the increase wouldnt win approval from the state legislature and governor. Universal pre-kindergarten would cost about $290 million annually, with a start-up cost of about $50 million for new classrooms, according to the Independent Budget Office, a city agency that acts as a non-partisan fiscal monitor. Lhota says that although he supports universal pre-school, financing it through a tax increase on the wealthiest New Yorkers runs the risk of slowing the citys economy. Universal pre-school is the right thing to do, Lhota said during a Sept. 13 appearance on WPIX television. Yet he disagrees that the city should raise taxes to pay for it. Lhota hasnt proposed an alternative funding stream. We have daunting fiscal challenges ahead and it is critical the next mayor have the experience and wherewithal to keep the citys finances sound, Lhota said in a statement yesterday. I am the only candidate in the race with both public and private sector experience managing large budgets. Localities from California to Connecticut are issuing about $4.2 billion of long-term munis this week as yields are the lowest since June. At 2.7 percent , benchmark 10-year muni yields are the lowest since June.
New York Rangers sign Derek Stepan to two-year contract
The Knicks had the entire summer during which to switch up their management structure. Yet, they chose to do so mere days before the team is set to open training camp at the Madison Square Garden Training Center in Greenburgh, New York. As if a squad already fraught with questions about Carmelo Anthony’s MVP chops, JR Smith’s condition, the declining effectiveness of Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler , and the head-scratching decision to bring in Andrea Bargnani weren’t distractions enough for the Knicks, who are coming off their most successful season in over a decade. As if the impending battle for the hearts and minds of basketball lovers in the boroughs weren’t fierce enough, what with the Brooklyn Nets loading up on Hall-of-Famers and all. Which is all the more reason to wonder why Grunwald would, in essence, be ousted at all. It strikes me as a bit unusual for a GM to lose his job after the team he put together tallied 54 regular-season wins and netted its first postseason series victory since 2000. Then again, if coaches (i.e. George Karl, Lionel Hollins, Vinny Del Negro) can get the ax after leading their respective franchises to historic seasons, why shouldn’t GMs “enjoy” that same “privilege?” Remember, Grunwald’s the guy who brought Tyson Chandler to New York. He’s been responsible for digging up bargain-bin gems left and right, from Jeremy Lin and Steve Novak to Chris Copeland and Pablo Prigioni. He may not have been the chief architect behind the Carmelo Anthony tradethe credit for that belongs to Donnie Walshbut he certainly had a hand in the matter. This isn’t to suggest that Grunwald was in any way the perfect GM. To bring Chandler on, he had to use the team’s one-time amnesty provision on Chauncey Billups. That left then-coach Mike D’Antoni without an experienced floor general to run his point-guard-heavy system and the Knicks without an easy means of clearing Stoudemire’s onerous contract from their cap sheet.
Scott Lev/NHLI via Getty Images NEW YORK (AP) — Derek Stepan is back in the fold with the New York Rangers, agreeing to a two-year contract that should have him back on the ice in time for the season opener. Negotiations had been tense in recent days as the sides worked on a deal to get the restricted free-agent forward signed and into training camp. A contract was finally worked out Thursday, one week before the Rangers start the regular season at Phoenix. The 23-year-old Stepan, expected to be the Rangers’ No. 1 center, led the team with 44 points last season and was second to Rick Nash with 18 goals while playing all 48 games of the lockout-shortened campaign. He had been seeking $3.5 million per season, while the Rangers were offering around $3 million. The new deal is for a total of $6.15 million – $2.3 million this season and $3.85 million in 2014-15. Signing Stepan was a critical move for the Rangers, who are starting the season under new coach Alain Vigneault without captain Ryan Callahan and speedy winger Carl Hagelin – both recovering from shoulder operations. Stepan set career highs last season with a plus-25 rating and six game-winning goals. He tied his high with four power-play goals. Stepan went over the 40-point mark for the third straight season, tying for the NHL lead with four short-handed points. In 12 playoff games, Stepan had a career-best four goals – including winners in Games 3 and 4 of New York’s first-round victory over Washington. In 212 regular-season NHL games overall, Stepan has 56 goals and 140 points.