State Senate Republicans have issued a news release explaining how they'd like to spend upwards of $3 billion in penalties that will be paid into the state budget's general fund by the French bank BNP Paribas for violating trading sanctions with Cuba, Iran and Sudan. Unfortunately, the Senate's "bold plan" isn't nearly bold enough. Read More

New York's $3.3 billion windfall from the criminal penalties paid by a French bank should be spent to backfill the state's under-nourished and over-leveraged transportation capital plans. Read More

No, it is not April 1: Gov. Andrew Cuomo really did give all New York State employees "an extra hour for extended lunch" to watch the mid-day World Cup soccer match between the U.S. and Germany. An hour's worth of time for all 125,555 full-time equivalent employees of the executive branch of state government translates into at least $4 million in wages and salaries, based on the latest payroll data from the state comptroller's office. Read More

A bill rushed to passage by both houses of the Legislature last week would gut local control of police discipline by deeming it a subject of collective bargaining throughout the state. The bill can be seen as a fresh test of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's commitment to "transform" a state dominated by public employee unions. Read More

The growth prospects for New York’s metropolitan areas between 2013 and 2020 range from dismal upstate to mediocre downstate, according to a study issued by the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Read More

Two late-breaking bills stand out among more than a half-dozen pension sweeteners passed by New York’s state Legislature during the final days of the 2014 session. One would restore a benefit cut by Gov. Cuomo's Tier 6 reform, and the other would vastly expand pension credit for time served in the military. Read More

Another month, another not-so-hot jobs report for New York State. Private sector employment statewide grew by 1.4 percent during the 12 months ended in May, trailing the national average gain of 2.1 percent during the same period. Read More

New York’s public pension funds will have the green light to significantly increase their asset allocations to “alternative investments,” such as private equity and hedge funds, under a bill that looks greased for passage in both houses of the state Legislature. Read More

The Thruway Authority still hasn't revealed its plan for financing the new Tappan Zee bridge, but a state revolving loan fund for clean water projects will help prime the pump. Read More

New York's economy grew more slowly than those of all but four other states in 2013, the latest federal data show. The real GDP numbers are consistent with job-creation data, which also show the Empire State to be lagging well behind the U.S. as a whole. Read More