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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

New York--despite facing a $55 billion liability--is one of 20 states that has set aside absolutely nothing to pay for the growing cost of health insurance for retired public employees, according to a national report. The  by the Pew Center on t Read More

New York state employees, unlike those in the private sector, have been largely untouched by the recession. State workers elsewhere have faced layoffs, benefit cuts and unpaid furloughs to help close massive budget gaps, as I point out in an op-ed Read More

Don't expect the president of the Albany Police Officers Union to win any community relations awards, especially from the city's beleaguered taxpayers. During an interview with WRGB-TV, Chris Mesley made no effort to sugarcoat demands for police p 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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