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Governor Cuomo proposed a cap on Superintendent salaries earlier this week, but as it relates to bringing school district spending down, it’s the equivalent of trying to chop down a tree with nail clippers. Read More

Although his proposed property tax cap will put pressure on counties, municipalities and schools to reduce their costs, Gov. Cuomo has punted the related issue of mandate relief to a "redesign team" comprised of stakeholders including representatives... Read More

States are finding it more difficult to accurately predict their revenues--and "the biggest culprit" is an increasing reliance on personal income taxes, according to a new report from the Pew Center on the States and the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute... Read More

Gov. Cuomo's proposed 2 percent property tax cap could only be overridden by a super-majority of more than 60 percent of school district voters. Would this pose an insurmountable obstacle to supporters of higher taxes, starving schools of desperately needed funding? Cap opponents such as New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) imply as much, asserting in recent Senate testimony that the 60 percent override threshold... Read More

In today's Times, Mayor Bloomberg says that state governments don't need to curtail bargaining rights for public workers' unions. Instead, states just need to bargain better -- and give localities the authority to bargain better, too -- to protect the... Read More

A $100 million expansion of the the state's Health Care Reform Act (HCRA) surcharge is among the latest additions to a list of (so far) several hundred "redesign proposals" under consideration by Governor Cuomo's Medicaid Redesign Team. The proposal... Read More

New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) has produced a new TV commercial blaming proposed state budget cuts on "tax breaks for millionaires." In fact, the proposed 2011-12 state budget includes $3.8 billion in projected revenue from the third and final year... Read More

New York's public-sector unions love to bash Wall Street, demanding punitive new taxes on investment banks as the solution to every fiscal problem. In fact, the financial sector "oligarchy" and the "new Tammany Hall" of the public-sector labor movement... Read More

The news out of China about its high-speed rail network shows that cost and time overruns aren't the worst things to happen on big transit and transportation projects. As the Times reports in a piece on China's firing of its railways minister, possibly... Read More

Retail health clinics could play an important role in expanding access to health care in New York State, according to a new study by the Manhattan Institute's Center for Medical Progress. But first, the state needs to break down its existing regulatory... Read More

Add the Bethlehem Central School District to the small, but growing, list of public entities taking action to bring spending in line with economic reality.   Officials of the Albany area school district that they had implemented a voluntary sala 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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