Social Security recipients will see their checks go up only 1.4 to 1.6 percent in January, marking the fourth time in the last five years that they increased little or not at all, analysts say. The American Institute for Economic Research announced the expected cost of living adjustment on Oct. 11.
That means the average recipient of Social Security benefits will see a monthly increase of less than $20.
This year the COLA was 1.7 percent. In 2012 it was 3.6 percent, but in both 2010 and 2011, it was zero.
The government was expected to make the official COLA announcement this week, according to the AIER, but the partial federal shutdown made that unlikely.
Each year’s COLA is based on one officially recognized rate of inflation during the third quarter of the prior year. In the two recent years when there were no increases, that was because the inflation rate, formally called the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, saw negative growth in the previous year’s third quarter.
Analysts with the AIER said that President Obama’s 2014 budget plan would use a different rate of inflation to calculate COLAs, one that would reduce annual increases.
Sexually explicit photos would no longer be legal to post online without the subject’s consent if a measure introduced by Assemblyman Ed Braunstein (D-Bayside) becomes law.
It’s already against the law to take explicit photos without the permission of the person in them, but there is no law in New York against disseminating ones that were taken with consent, even if the subject does not authorize spreading them around.
Some people, mostly men, have been doing just that: disseminating explicit photos of ex-girlfriends and ex-wives who either allowed them to be taken or took them themselves, but never intended for anyone but a partner to see them. The phenomenon is known as “revenge porn.”
There is no federal law against it, and only two states, New Jersey and California, have made it illegal.
“Disseminating sexually explicit images that were shared with an expectation of privacy can cause lasting damage to victims and should be a crime,” Braunstein said in announcing the bill. “Passage of this legislation would make it clear that New Yorkers will not allow this type of harassment to continue.”
The bill would make revenge porn a class A misdemeanor, for which convictions carry up to a year in prison, and tack on a $30,000 fine. It is being sponsored in the state Senate by Sen. Joseph Griffo (R-Rome).
The union for rank-and-file police officers sued the City Council on Tuesday to block part of the Community Safety Act, a set of two laws designed to rein in the NYPD’s use of stop and frisk that were passed over Mayor Bloomberg’s veto in August.
The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association is suing over the “bias-based policing” law, which expands the categories under which police may not stop someone based on his or her appearance. The PBA contends that profiling of suspects is already illegal, that the measure will confuse officers and hamper their ability to enforce the law, and that the City Council exceeded its authority in passing it because only the state can make criminal law.
The Bloomberg administration is suing to block the law under the same legal notion, but the PBA reportedly fears that if Public Advocate Bill de Blasio is elected mayor, as surveys indicate he will be, he will drop the suit. De Blasio, like a majority of the City Council, contends that police have been unfairly targeting minorities for stops, a charge Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly deny.
A federal judge ruled this summer that stop and frisk as practiced is unconstitutional, a decision the city also is appealing.