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One of the most pernicious aspects of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's proposal to hike the minimum wage is his bid to index the future minimum wage to inflation Beginning in 2014, the state would automatically hike the new $ Read More

New York’s combined state and local sales tax rate is the seventh highest in the nation, according to a new report from the Tax Foundation. Read More

Following through on Speaker Silver’s promise earlier this month, the Assembly is reportedly about to introduce a bill raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50 an hour, with automatic increases thereafter in line with the cost of living. As we’ve noted here before, this is a swell way to reduce job opportunities for low-skilled, entry-level workers — and it’s not a very effective way of helping the working poor, either. Read More

Over at Streetsblog, they’re talking Tappan Zee — wondering why Gov. Cuomo won’t release any new information about the financial plan for the multi-billion-dollar bridge (no, nobody knows how many billions, but probably more than six and less than twenty) until after asking contractors for proposals. Read More

Just-released November indicate that Medicaid spending was within Governor Cuomo's new cap through the first two-thirds of fiscal 2011-12 -- but just barely.The $15.3 billion cap on state-funded Medicaid spending within the Department of H Read More

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver may seek a pay hike for members of the New York State Legislature before the year is out, today’s New York Post reports. New York part-time lawmakers now make a base salary of $79,500 a year, plus $171 for every day in Albany and added stipends for leadership positions and committee chairmanships. Read More

There was virtually nothing new in Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s speech on public pensions in Washington, D.C., yesterday — nothing the comptroller hasn’t said before, as recently as a month ago. Read More

Governor Cuomo’s 2012-13 budget, to be presented later today, will command media attention for the rest of the week. Advance reports on his modified pension reform proposal are especially promising. Meanwhile, there’s a (fiscally) cost-free approach to helping local governments and school districts alleviate their budget problems: repealing the Triborough Amendment. 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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