Commentary

New York under Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been able to tame Medicaid costs by bringing together service providers and health care unions to find ways to save money. But Medicaid patients themselves can also play a bigger role in that process. Read More

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's campaign for a statewide $15-an-hour minimum wage is based on the assertion that "no one who works a full-time job should be forced to live in poverty." Few would disagree. But here's the thing: No one who works a full-time job in New York has to live in poverty — thanks largely to a program pioneered at the state level by the governor's father. Read More

In his combined State of the State and budget message last week, Gov. Cuomo officially unveiled $100 billion in “transformative" infrastructure projects — enough to “make Governor [Nelson] Rockefeller jealous.” That wouldn’t be easy, even if it were desirable. To finance a 15-year building binge that included most of the State University system — not to mention countless other capital projects capped by Albany’s monstrously modernist Empire State Plaza — New York’s legendary Republican governor from 1959 to 1973 quintupled state debt. Cuomo clearly hopes his plans will be perceived as Rockefeller-esque in scope. So how does he plan to pay for it all? The answer: for the most part, he doesn’t. Read More

Gov. Cuomo’s 2017 state budget, which he’ll present next week, is likely to call for billions of dollars in new spending on highways and bridges. Unfortunately, taxpayers won’t get their money’s worth if the state continues to insist on rigging bids for public-works projects that all but guarantee the jobs will go to unions. Read More

Budget deficits papered over with borrowed money and fiscal gimmicks. Unaffordable union contracts. Pension contributions “amortized” into the future. Retiree health benefits promised but unfunded. Corruption probes and whiffs of scandal. Accountability blurred, responsibility shirked, and hard decisions avoided again and again. That litany could describe any number of old, declining American cities—including a few that, like Detroit, actually went broke. But the same dysfunction exists in affluent corners of New York’s archetypal suburb: Long Island 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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