Gov. Andrew Cuomo faced two public-sector labor relations challenges when he took office.  The first was to negotiate contracts with state employee unions that would produce both short-term and recurring savings to help stem the flow of red ink in h Read More

"New York has always paid its pension bills on time," state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli boasted yesterday, in the state pension fund's 14.6 percent return on assets during the fiscal year that ended March 31. But in fact, under a 2010 law champio Read More

The Citizens Budget Commission hosted Deputy Mayor Bob Steel this morning for a pension-fix presentation. Despite some new bells'n'whistles, the city's pension proposal is still the same: ask Gov. Read More

Governors often veto legislation on narrow technical grounds, effectively leaving the door ajar for sponsors of bad bills to try again with a somewhat different approach. But that's not the case with Gov. Andrew Cuomo's just-released Veto Message 23 Read More

The governor has rejected that would undermine the intent of New York's newly enacted property tax cap by allowing school districts to issue 15-year bonds to cover a portion of their rising teacher pension costs. The Executive Chamber's news rele Read More

Yesterday, the New York Times accused the Republican-controlled state Senate of "" for failing to pass legislation setting up a state health insurance exchange in the waning days of the last legislative session. If the legislature doesn't pass a bill Read More

To follow-up on : According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average weekly paycheck for a New York City worker in the private sector last year was $1,060, or $55,120. The MTA's $72,000 figure is about 31 percent higher. Read More

The Empire Center for New York State Policy has just released its 2010 payroll data for the state-run Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). Results? The average MTA worker made more than $72,000 in salary and/or wages, overtime, and othe Read More

At least one leading bond counsel firm is issuing supplemental opinions to the effect that New York State's cap on local property taxes may violate the state Constitution's debt impairment provision.  The lawyers' reasoning is unpersuasive, serving Read More

The Municipal Market Advisors research shop says today that in Minnesota and Colorado upholding states' rights to reduce cost-of-living pension increases for current retirees could affect municipal credit quality. Read More


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The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.

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