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Requiring timely payment in full of every employer’s actuarially determined annual required contribution is among the hallmarks of pension fund probity, in both the public and private sectors. Unlike many of its counterparts in other states, the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System (NYSTRS) has always lived up to that high standard. Until now. Read More

The final version of the Public Protection and General Government budget bill contains a new provision, originating in the legislative version of the proposal, that will allow the education commissioner to waive the $30,000 public employment earnings limitation for any retired police officer employed as a “school resource officer.” Read More

So, in the end, the state’s pension guardian caved, after all. To his credit, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli did not embrace Governor Cuomo’s dubious proposal to allow localities to massively underpay pension contributions to the New York State and Local Retirement System... Read More

Rejecting almost every cost-sharing proposal suggested by the management side, a state arbitration panel has awarded a two-year, 6.6 percent increase in base salaries to members of the police officers union in the Village of Rockville Centre in Nassau County... Read More

Details aren’t yet settled, but news reports this morning quote Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos as saying the 2013-14 state budget will include $700 million in tax cuts. Other reports and rumors suggest a somewhat smaller amount. Read More

Fifty-seven of New York’s 62 counties lost more residents to other parts of the state or the nation than they gained between 2010 and 2012, according to newly released U.S. Census estimates. Eleven of those counties might be described as demographically dying Read More

The state Senate’s one-house budget puts its own twist on Governor Cuomo’s dubious pension “smoothing” plan. The Senate version would give the state, as well as localities and school districts, the option of significantly under-paying pension contributions over the next few years... Read More

Governor Cuomo’s proposal to cap arbitration awards for police and firefighters is not included in the Senate or Assembly budget bills. This may be blessing in disguise: as argued here, Cuomo’s original proposal didn’t go nearly far enough. Since the arbitration law expires on June 30, the governor remains in a commanding position to demand more. Read More

Based on their just-introduced one-house budget, Assembly Democrats don’t support Governor Cuomo’s proposal to eliminate all required reports by local governments and school districts to state agencies. From a transparency and accountability standpoint, that’s good news for taxpayers and the general public, as explained here. Read More

Governor Cuomo today marked Sunshine Week by launching Open New York, a really cool portal for finding government data online -- without having to file a Freedom of Information Law request. The site launched with 267 data sets populating it. That's a respectable number, but a fraction of what could eventually be on the site. 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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