Commentary

There’s an obvious place to start in New York: Freeze state and local government employee pay. The combined estimated savings for every level of government could at least be a down payment on the massive reductions that will be necessary in the year ahead — and probably for years to come. Read More

With any luck, the coronavirus will be a fading memory by summer. But by then, massive (if temporary) damage will already have been done to the state and regional economies. The Empire State and its local governments, including Gotham, will have to confront a fiscal crisis as intense as the current public-health emergency. Read More

This week’s stock-market plunge amid mounting fears of a global economic slowdown triggered by the coronavirus couldn’t come at a more crucial time in New York state’s budget-making process. Read More

Virginia Democrats are poised to legalize collective bargaining for government employees. In November Democrats brought Richmond under their total control for the first time in more than a quarter-century. The new legislative majorities seem intent on ignoring the painful lessons of New York state’s half-century experiment with government unions. Read More

In what he calls a “bold agenda” for New York’s future, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has dusted off one of Albany’s creakiest bipartisan infrastructure fantasies: high-speed passenger rail service. Read More

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s response to the Empire State’s big Medicaid deficit, as laid out in his budget presentation on Tuesday, was a disappointing mix of delay, deflection and delegation. Read More

From a statewide perspective, New York’s economic performance since the end of the Great Recession hasn’t been especially outstanding, roughly equaling the U.S. averages for growth in private employment and GDP, while slightly trailing the national rate of increase in personal income since early 2009. But a closer look at the numbers reveals a tale of two New Yorks. Read More

In 2020, the biggest headache facing Albany will be Medicaid, the state-run health plan that covers more than 6 million lower-income and disabled New Yorkers. As revealed last month, Medicaid is running 16 percent over budget—opening a $4 billion deficit in the state’s current financial plan and contributing disproportionately to a $6.1 billion gap for the fiscal year that begins April 1. Read More

Instead of properly managing Medicaid, the state’s biggest and most important program, Cuomo subverted his own reforms, whitewashed official reports, withheld information from the Legislature and the public, flouted his constitutional duties and, worst of all, secretly delayed $1.7 billion in payments from one fiscal year to the next. 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.