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A little-discussed hazard of creating a state-run single-payer health plan in New York would be its vulnerability to the business cycle. It would depend heavily on taxes collected from high-income New Yorkers, a source of revenue that's especially prone to booms and busts. A recession – or a downturn in the stock market – could easily open a budget hole not just in the billions of dollars, but in the tens of billions of dollars. Read More

Yesterday’s fatal truck accident outside Binghamton is a reminder that state government’s opposition to natural gas pipelines is having negative consequences⁠—including putting more gas trucks on the road. Read More

The state subsidy package for a just-announced $1.5 billion chip fab plant outside Utica includes a sweet giveaway that will drive up the project price tag—at taxpayer expense—to give an edge to union contractors. Read More

Following the Cuomo administration’s lead, at least two financially stressed local governments in the North Country have gone out of their way to steer expensive public works contracts to construction unions—despite higher costs. Read More

Bucking the national trend, New York's uninsured rate dropped for the eighth consecutive year, new data from the Census Bureau show. The share of New Yorkers lacking health coverage in 2018 was 5.4 percent in 2018, down from 5.7 percent the year before. The number of people lacking health coverage dropped by about 72,000, to just over 1 million. Both the rate and the number are roughly half what they were in 2013, the year before the Affordable Care Act went into effect. Read More

New York State's tax collectors prevailed in a key administrative ruling last month—but in the long run, the state's taxpayers will probably be net losers as a result. At issue here is the Empire State's effort to tax the investment income, dividends and capital gains earned in 2012 and 2013 by Nelson Obus, a hedge fund manager who during those years commuted regularly from his residence in New Jersey to his office in midtown Manhattan. Read More

Sen. Chuck Schumer raised the alarm Tuesday about a pending reduction in Medicaid funding for safety-net hospitals, which he said would have "devastating" effect in New York. His warning was misleading in several ways, not least because it left out an important bit of context: Schumer himself voted for the cuts he was deploring. In effect, he was taking credit for trying to clean up a mess he had helped to create. Read More

The state overseer of Long Island’s troubled Hempstead school district says the district is making “solid progress in every area.” At the same time, he’s warning of a “very serious” financial outlook due to a projected increase in the number of Hempstead school children attending charter schools—which would indicate parents don’t actually think progress is occurring. Read More

For the third time in nine years, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is reducing his assumed rate of returns on state pension fund investments. DiNapoli today announced he will drop—to 6.8 percent from 7 percent— the rate of return for the fund that feeds the New York State Employee Retirement System (ERS) and the Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS), which cover roughly 1 million active and retired non-teachers outside New York City. Read More

The Cuomo administration appears to have violated state law by forcing offshore wind developers to cut deals with the building trade unions that supported his 2018 re-election bid, needlessly inflating costs and boxing out subcontractors on multi-billion dollar construction jobs. Read More

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Empire Center for Public Policy
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About

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.