Blog

While the Legislature struggles to reach final agreement on yet another budget that is sure to spend more than the state can afford, a bit of good news for New York taxpayers can be found on the last page of today's report from... Read More

A newly created commission, taking aim at public-sector pension costs in Britain, is expected to recommend that government employees "pay hundreds or even thousands of pounds more into their pension pots, as the era of early retirement on generous payments... Read More

An advocacy group for subway riders is blaming budget reductions for dirtier conditions on New York subway cars. "It’s as clear as the grime on a subway car floor: MTA Transit cuts in cleaners has meant dirtier cars.. Read More

Bloomberg (the news, not the mayor) reports that the state of Illinois must pay 40 percent more than it did two months ago to borrow money in the bond markets (relative to supposedly risk-free Treasury bonds). Illinois' new 25-year, $300 million... Read More

New York's slow growth during the past decade is reflected in newly released Census Bureau data showing that the Empire State ranked 48th out of 50 states in the creation of new housing units from 2000 to 2009. As illustrated in the chart below... Read More

Local governments are not racing to adopt the state's early retirement incentive, which would help trim their payrolls while increasing their pension costs. In St. Lawrence County, officials have advised county legislators to vote against offering... Read More

E.J. and I had a podcast chat this morning to run through some of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)'s 2009 payroll data, released last week by the Empire Center's seethroughny.net. The data show that last year, the MTA's 74,708 workers... Read More

Taxpayers pay an average of $39.81 per hour to employ state and local government workers nationwide. That's $12 per hour more than total compensation costs for private-sector employees... Read More

Local media has picked up on the NYC Independent Budget Office's blog post on the precipitous drop in wages in New York's securities industry in 2009. The get-it-over-with-fast drop mightn't have been such a bad thing for the city -- if local, state... Read More

Most news coverage of yesterday's budget vote reflected the approach of today's New York Times headline: "Albany Lawmakers Pass Big Cuts in Health Care." In fact, net of those cuts, the state-funded share of Medicaid spending will increase this year... Read More

Erie County workers vote this week on a tentative contract giving them a 15 percent raise over five years in exchange for eliminating paid retiree health insurance for future hires, as well as requiring a 50 percent contribution for recent hires. Read More

The House has passed the White House's request for an extension of the Build America Bond program 'till 2012, and the Senate is getting there. Just what state, local, and the federal government need: more "cheap" debt, thanks to an implicit federal... 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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