Here's a rule of thumb for interpreting news media coverage of state and local fiscal crises: the further away the crisis is, the more likely the news account will portray the officials reponsible as victims of economic forces beyond their control.  Read More

It seems likely the will take up and re-pass all the bills approved during its legally questionable June 30 "session," perhaps as soon as this evening.  While the governor and others have described the bills awaiting Senate action for the past month Read More

Wall Street may have one last party, and it could come at the expense of its hometown and home state getting their houses in order. New York could better get on with life if President Obama and Congress would figure out how they're going to approac Read More

Today’s New York Times that state and local government tax-funded pension contributions in New York may triple over the next five years should come as no surprise to anyone who has made an effort to understand the current system and its p Read More

California is printing up $3.2 billion worth of "IOUs" to send to vendors and to people expecting cash payments from the state, including taxpayers due rebates for overpayment. Is this legal? Read More

Via the redoubtable , recently released Census data on state and local public pension systems show that, compared to national averages, New York government employees directly contribute a much smaller share of their own retirement costs. And that's Read More

The short list of "critical, non-controversial" measures Governor Paterson has sent the deadlocked state Senate for possible action tonight includes a bill authorizing Nassau County to issue bonds to finance early retirement incentives for county emp Read More

In 2008, the state Metropolitan Transportation Authority employed 539 police officers who were paid an average of $96,553, including overtime and shift differentials.    A salary database of all 78,393 MTA employees during 2008 -- searchable by na 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.