The closing bell on Wall Street last Friday also marked the end of the fiscal year for many public pension funds across the country, including the New York State Teachers' Retirement System (NYSTRS), which finances pensions promised to 420,000 active and retired professional educators working mainly for school districts outside New York City. Read More

Earlier today, the Supreme Court, after signaling numerous concerns with ObamaCare during oral arguments, reversed course and upheld the law basically in its entirety by a vote of 5-4, with Chief Justice John Roberts providing the swing vote. Read More

Sometime this summer, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo will perform the financial equivalent of pulling a rabbit out of his hat -- explaining how a cash-poor, heavily indebted state government (and its Thruway Authority, whose credit rating outlook was just downgraded to "negative") will come up with $5 billion to $6 billion to build a new bridge across the widest stretch of the lower Hudson River. Read More

Despite a big push from Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) and at least tacit support from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, the conventional wisdom in Albany is that a proposed increase in New York's minimum wage won't go anywhere before the legislature adjourns next week. Read More

During New York's Tier 6 pension-reform fight earlier this year, public employee unions claimed Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo wanted to "let Wall Street gamble" with pension money. Last week brought a reminder of who's really rolling the dice. State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli announced that the pool of investments backing the New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS), of which he is sole trustee, earned 5.96 percent during the fiscal year ended March 31. Read More

Federal prosecutors suggested this week that a "culture of fraud" has afflicted the Long Island Rail Road. They were referring to alleged phony disability claims by LIRR employees -- but the phrase could just as well describe the chronic lowballing of past cost estimates for the LIRR's East Side Access connection to Grand Central Terminal. Read More

Among the many objections raised by public school groups when Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo began pushing his tax cap last year, perhaps the weakest was the claim by teacher unions that the law would "erode democracy." Read More

Proponents of an increase in New York's minimum wage argue that no full-time worker — especially a head of household raising children — should have to live on $7.25 an hour, or $15,000 a year. 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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