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For the third time in nine years, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is reducing his assumed rate of returns on state pension fund investments. DiNapoli today announced he will drop—to 6.8 percent from 7 percent— the rate of return for the fund that feeds the New York State Employee Retirement System (ERS) and the Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS), which cover roughly 1 million active and retired non-teachers outside New York City. Read More

The Cuomo administration appears to have violated state law by forcing offshore wind developers to cut deals with the building trade unions that supported his 2018 re-election bid, needlessly inflating costs and boxing out subcontractors on multi-billion dollar construction jobs. Read More

One of New York’s largest public-sector unions is deliberately trying to shed some dues-paying members. The union in question wants to avoid transparency and accountability for how it spends dues money. And unless state lawmakers or federal regulators act, they’ll succeed. Read More

The newly posted July cash report from the comptroller's office shows that state-funded Medicaid expenditures ran over budget projections by $665 million, or almost 8 percent, through the first four months of the fiscal year. If that pattern continues, the full-year overage would approach $2 billion. Read More

State-regulated health premiums for 2020 are rising faster than the medical inflation rate for the sixth year in a row, yet the officials who signed off on the hikes insist they have saved consumers money – because average premiums are lower than what insurers originally requested. Positive spin notwithstanding, it's increasingly evident that the state's nine-year-old price-control regime, known as "prior approval," is failing as a strategy to keep health costs in check. Read More

The Cuomo administration's quarterly budget update includes a warning for the state's health-care industry: Medicaid cuts could be coming. The report, released Tuesday, says officials are developing a plan to reduce Medicaid spending that could include "across-the-board rate reductions to health care providers and plans." Read More

New York's employer-sponsored health insurance premiums – which were already among the steepest in the mainland United States – rose faster than the national average in 2018, pushing the state's affordability gap to new heights. Read More

New York City's five municipal public pension funds ended their 2019 fiscal year with an aggregate investment gain of 7.24 percent, slightly above their 7 percent assumed rate of return, according to a preliminary estimate by city comptroller's office. Read More

One year after the U.S. Supreme Court said government workers couldn’t be forced to pay union dues, New York’s public-sector unions are concealing their losses by publishing inflated membership figures. Read More

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About

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.