While it began under bizarre circumstances, the current (apparent, informal) 31-31 deadlock over who should control the New York State Senate is not unprecedented.  Elsewhere around the country, there have been 38 other instances since 1966--includi Read More

The Citizens Budget Commission, in , observes that a one-year wage freeze for all 308,000 city employees would save taxpayers a whopping $1.2 billion annually -- not just once, but forever (assuming the city wouldn't make up for it with bigger raise Read More

If the Republican leaders of the newly reconstituted state Senate majority really intend to press for property tax relief before the end of session, they should start by reviving the school property tax cap. But they should ignore the latest version of the tax cap sent up to the Legislature by Governor David Paterson. The governor's new program bill includes a gigantic carve-out for teacher retirement costs, which over the next few years will be skyrocketing. Read More

Governor Paterson today announced he's calling "Bold Steps to the New Economy."  What's bold about the plan is not immediately apparent; what's new apparently boils down to $100 million in state grants to be doled out "over several years" to attrac Read More

Today's Times features about the new charter school in Washington Heights, which will pay teachers $125,000 when it opens next fall.  But six-figure teachers are not unprecedented in the Big Apple--or elsewhere in New York. New York City Read More

Last year, after Lehman Brothers collapsed, Mayor Bloomberg signed 4 percent annual raises for two years for the city's biggest civilian union, DC-37, even as it was obvious that such raises were unaffordable. The mayor is planning to repeat this fea Read More

City comptroller Bill Thompson -- who's also running for mayor -- released that termed the city's fiscal outlook "extremely sobering." The most sobering aspect is the extent to which New York has allowed its dependence on Wall Street to transform i 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.