Blog

Discovering that government employees work extra overtime to spike their pensions is akin to learning there's gambling in Casablanca. Read More

Last week, FW wrote about sinking investment-side bank profits and their implications for New York tax revenues. Today comes another hint of bad news: as the Journal reports today (page B1), luxury retail sales have been falling again, down 3.9 percent.. Read More

In today's New York Times piece on how Con Ed has worked to keep the lights on, Queens Assemblyman Michael N. Gianaris said of the New York City electricity provider that "the company had still not pumped enough money into modernizing its infrastructure." Read More

While many private-sector employees might hope for two weeks notice before being laid off, state workers would get two months notice under a bill passed by the state Senate and on the third reading in the Assembly. (Update below.) Currently, state workers get... Read More

As the Wall Street Journal reports in its quarterly review today (subscription required), investment and universal banks' securities underwriting activity over the past three months has fallen to levels not seen since the last few months of 2008. Read More

School superintendents don't get overtime, but that didn't prevent former Niagara Falls School Superintendent Carmen A. Granto Jr. from collecting a pension larger than his salary. He did so by cashing in 45 unused vacation days and 747 unused sick days... Read More

Governor David Paterson and the Democratic leaders of the New York State Legislature have agreed to impose $50 million in new taxes on non-resident partners in New York-based hedge funds. Here's how the provision is described in the memo accompanying... Read More

New York State once again topped all states in K-12 education spending in 2007-08, according to U.S. Census data released today. The Empire State's school spending of $17,173 per pupil was 67 percent above the national average of $10,259. Read More

Despite growing signs that Congress is finding it harder to spend with reckless abandon, New York State budget negotiators were counting on getting $1 billion in added Federal Medicaid Reimbursement Percentage (FMAP) aid under the so-called "jobs bill" expected to move... Read More

A gubernatorial task force failed to deliver what public employee unions sought: a recommendation that existing health benefits for retirees be virtually locked in place--despite budget gaps across the state. In a nine-page report, the Task Force on Public Retiree Health Insurance could not agree on the very issue... Read More

Albany likes to tax bad things, like cigarettes and, maybe soon, soda. But one State Senator's new idea of a sin tax -- on the defaulted sovereign nation of Argentina -- would harm the state's main cash cow, Wall Street. Argentina defaulted on its... Read More

Albany tops the list of "America's Most Recession-Proof Cities" in this CNNMoney.com report, based on a recent Brookings Institute paper. So, does this mean New York's Capital Region is a magnet for entrepreneurs and all-round private-sector dynamism? 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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