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New York State entities continue to scrape the bottom of the barrel to scare up a few dollars. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) will issue $475 million in short-term notes this week. The MTA pledges to repay the debt as soon as it get Read More

Governor David Paterson began his tenure in the spring of 2008 on a promising note by embracing , almost exactly as proposed by the .  But when the Senate actually passed his bill a few months later, he backed off and dropped the issue. Last year, Read More

The outlook for a timely and fiscally responsible New York State budget is as poor as it has ever been at this point in a fiscal year that ends March 31. [caption id="attachment_2489" align="alignright" width="178" caption="We like NY's proactiv Read More

The Town of Islip hit a major road block in its plan to reduce costs of its vehicle fleet: a state administrative law judge ruled 45 workers can keep town-owned vehicles to commute between work and their homes. The ruling--if upheld on appeal by t Read More

During and after the 2001 recession, U.S. states did about $30 billion in deficit financing, S&P says. (That is, they borrowed long-term, restructured existing debt, or securitized stuff with the aim of getting cash immediately for operating spe Read More

The Empire Center has posted payroll records for the 298,247 employees who worked for the State of New York in 2009 on its transparency site, . The full release, including tables listing the 50 highest-paid employees in each branch of state gover Read More

Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch today formally released his for achieving structural budget balance, including a proposal to authorize roughly $6 billion in "transitional borrowing" to help close projected budget gaps over the next three years.  The borro Read More

Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch still hasn't publicly released his long-term plan to restore structural balance to New York's state budget, including a rumored proposal to bond out a portion of the state's budget shortfall.   But the details emerging so f Read More

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli today issued a that focuses on the budget process, but his most significant and potentially valuable recommendation deals with debt. Read More

mid Governor David Paterson's various troubles, a bill quietly was introduced last week--at his request--offering a pension sweetener to public employees represented by a single union: New York State United Teachers. The  would allow teachers and Read More

New Jersey imposed a 4 percent cap on local property tax increases a year before Governor David Paterson endorsed the Suozzi Commission's call for a school property tax cap in New York. But unlike Paterson's original proposal, the cap signed into law by New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine in 2007 contained a number of loopholes, including a clause exempting the cost of health insurance benefits. Read More

President Barack Obama wants to limit raises of federal government employees to 1.4 percent--far less than the 4 percent raises most New York State workers expect in the coming year. In New York, raises are determined by negotiations with public e Read More

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Empire Center for Public Policy
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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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