Commentary

New York state's 2006-07 budget features a record $1.3 billion increase in support for K-12 public education. State school aid is up 8 percent from the previous year, boosting the total to an all-time high of $17.6 billion. Read More

State legislators will return to the Capitol this week to confront the more than 200 budget vetoes handed down by Gov. George Pataki before their Passover-Easter recess. Read More

Based on recent history, Albany's legislative leaders had reason to assume Gov. Pataki wouldn't put up much of a fight when they added billions of dollars to his already generous budget plan for the 2006-07 fiscal year. Read More

A healthy debate is now raging in Washington, D.C., over the use of congressional "earmarks" to spend pork barrel money out of federal budget appropriations. Conservatives and liberals alike agree that the practice is wasteful and should be eliminated or severely curtailed. Read More

Last week's appeals-court ruling in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) case leaves a murky picture even murkier. This is what happens when courts meddle where they don't belong. Read More

With its emphasis on reducing dependency and putting people to work, the historic federal welfare reform of 1996 produced spectacular results in New York and across the country. In the past decade, welfare caseloads across the Empire State have dropped 60 percent, and the child poverty rate in the state has decreased 20 percent. Read More

The good economic news in Gov. Pataki's proposed budget is a fresh round of $2.5 billion in annual state tax cuts that would provide a strong shot in the arm to business investment throughout New York (assuming the cuts are phased in on schedule after Pataki leaves office). Read More

Aside from sympathizing with the plight of New York City residents left to beg rides or trudge to work in frigid temperatures, Upstate New Yorkers probably assumed they didn't have much at stake in last week's transit strike. Read More

Among many other things, this transit strike has been a learning experience for a whole new generation of Yorkers too young to remember issues raised by municipal labor unrest of the 1960s and the fiscal crisis of the 1970s. Read More

A proposal by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to restructure employee pensions reportedly was the issue that this week's illegal strike by Local 100 of the Transport Workers Union. Read More

Disputes over wages, health insurance and work rules, are nothing new in transit negotiations. But one of the most contentious issues in the latest contract talks between the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Local 100 of the Transport Workers Union has implications that go far beyond the cost of a MetroCard. Read More