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At today's Bloomberg LINK Cities & Debt Briefing in TriBeCa, Arizona Treasurer Dean Martin moments ago offered a different perspective on why public-pension funds should perhaps ease up on trying to achieve 7-8 percent annual returns. Leaving aside the drier academic argument over whether 7-8 annual return targets are unrealistic... Read More

Yesterday, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell threw the debt-laden capital city of Harrisburg a lifeline -- but the lifeline is made of razor wire. To help Harrisburg avoid a default on a general-obligation debt payment this week, Rendell will advance... Read More

At least 27,000 individuals, including ex-spouses of government workers, carried NYSHIP cards in their wallets--although they did not qualify for taxpayer-financed health insurance. That number will grow this fall if government employees fail to verify... Read More

New York's state highway system continues to rank near the bottom among all states in terms of performance and cost-effectiveness, as measured by the indicators in the Reason Foundation's 19th Annual Highway Condition Report. Here's a chart of my own... Read More

Three employees of the Hudson River-Black River Regulating District were laid off in May, only to be rehired in June, so they could take advantage of the state's early retirement program. In addition, the district's board offered retirement incentives to... Read More

It's official: after a decade in which the New York State pension fund's annual return on assets averaged less than half its target rate, the fund will need to jack up its taxpayer-funded contribution rates next year, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli announced today. Read More

In 2008, Barrett was paid a total of $1,500 to speak at two separate events in West Virginia, the money coming from federal grants. He was paid a total of $2,850 by the Schenectady school system for four appearances, while also collecting... Read More

Last month, the state-run MTA said that it might raise the price of a 30-day subway and bus pass from today's $89 to $104 -- a pretty hefty 17 percent increase. That's still the case in the MTA's latest on-line literature about fare hearings, too. Read More

New York's state comptroller reportedly is going to reduce the state pension fund's discount rate from 8 percent to between 7.5 percent and 7.75 percent, Bloomberg News just reported. The lower the discount rate, the higher the required tax-funded... Read More

New York's state budget gap for 2011-12 -- the first year of the next gubernatorial administration -- is now projected at nearly $8.2 billion, according to the 2010-11 Enacted Budget Report released today by Governor Paterson's Division of the Budget (DOB). Read More

It's not clear whether the Japanese scandal was caused by pension fraud, faulty government bookkeeping or "disintegrating family ties," reports the New York Times. 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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