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

In a Times on Washington's Wall Street bailouts and New York's economy, the Fiscal Policy Institute's James Parrott says that "the magnitude of the bailout has been so great that it will have wiped out whatever cumulative surplus" New York Read More

Teachers at the Iroquois School District, eyeing annual raises as high as 8 percent, are suggesting the district hold a "yard sale" to sell old equipment, switch to a four-day workweek, or curtail use of substitute teachers. "But a wage cut or freeze Read More

The city of White Plains is the latest example of how arbitration can produce bloated and unaffordable labor contracts. The twist, in the case of White Plains, is that the unaffordable arbitration award reportedly was recommended by the city's for Read More

State and local governments continue to use structured finance to obscure bad fiscal decisions. Today's case: Louisiana's convoluted proposed subsidy structure for the New Orleans Saints. The pending deal shows that conservative Republican Bobby Jind 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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