Visions of sugar plums dance in the heads of older state workers--amid Albany's $9 billion budget gap. They dream of fatter pensions should Senate approve Governor Paterson's early retirement bill as the Assembly did this week. Although a bonanza for... Read More

The Greek debt crisis has inspired economist Michael Boskin to lay out some fundamental lessons that are equally applicable to our own federal and state governments. Quoting directly from this article by Boskin, the lessons are: elected officials systematically... Read More

Governor Paterson would need the support of the Legislature to freeze wages of state workers. The next governor could partially freeze salaries by letting union contracts expire next year. One would-be governor, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, has proposed freezing... Read More

"The New NY Agenda" is the title of a policy booklet issued yesterday by Andrew Cuomo, the soon-to-be nominated Democratic gubernatorial candidate. If that title sounds familiar, it's because "New, New York" (including that all-important comma after the first "New")... Read More

The broad outlines of Andrew Cuomo's gubernatorial campaign platform are beginning to dribble out as the formal announcement of the attorney general's candidacy approaches. By the time the state Democratic Party Convention opens next Tuesday... Read More

Voters in New York's suburban, rural and smaller city school districts approved 92 percent of proposed school budgets yesterday, according to the New York State School Boards Association. This is above the historical average approval rate of 83 percent... Read More

Layoffs of up to 10,000 state employees are "on the radar screen," according to the New York Post. Citing an unnamed Paterson administration official, the Post reports Governor Paterson has been told the "no layoffs" memorandum signed... Read More

A federal judge has temporarily blocked a one-day furlough of state workers until he can hear arguments in two weeks. In doing so, however, he also referred to a pay freeze upheld in Buffalo. U.S. District Judge Lawrence Kahn also ruled... Read More

Spiraling costs of employee benefits--as well as 4 percent pay raises--are squeezing the budgets of both New York State and New York City. According to the state Division of Budget (DOB), employee benefits (pensions, health insurance, federal payroll taxes... Read More

e21 has a good staff editorial up on the now-tragic Greek crisis, with possible implications for New York and California. The plan for Greece, of course, is for Europe and the IMF to bail out the debt-drenched nation's bondholders, by imposing austerity... Read More

When freezing salaries for public employees has been proposed, critics said it couldn't be done. But an analysis of court decisions shows that the state Legislature has the power to freeze the salaries of all state, local and school district employees... 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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