Commentary

Getting a jump on the arrival of the Democrats’ big new Senate majority in Albany, Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week delivered a preview of his annual State of the State Address. He used it to remind his fellow Democrats of the many areas where they agree — but also to draw a few lines he won’t cross. Read More

It’s hard to take Medicare for All seriously when its proponents keep saying deeply unserious things. The latest case in point comes from Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the progressive firebrand from the Bronx. Read More

Urban progressives took over the New York state Senate in November, but the body’s biggest swing group will be suburban Democrats. These Democrats will need to prove themselves to their voters, many of them homeowners in places like Long Island and West­­chester. The most valuable deliverable for the nascent suburban caucus will be a permanent extension of Gov. Cuomo’s property-tax cap. Read More

The state-city deal to bring one of Amazon’s two new headquarters to Long Island City might at least have provided New York City with another big benefit—a much-needed model of advanced, efficient building practices. After all, Amazon isn’t just a big corporation: It’s widely admired as a global leader in technological innovation. Instead, it appears the deal will ensure that Amazon is saddled with the same arcane and outmoded construction-union work rules and compensation levels that have saddled New York City with the nation’s highest urban construction costs. Read More

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s effort to campaign for re-election as a master builder of new infrastructure has been undermined by headlines about New York City’s crumbling subway system. Meanwhile, much less public and political attention is being paid to his management of another major transportation asset: the New York state highway system. Read More

Four months after the Janus decision, tens of thousands of New Yorkers are taking home bigger paychecks thanks to the end of forced union fees, having saved about $30 million in the last three months. The ruling brought New York unions in li Read More

Unearthed videos of 1982 Cuomo-Lehrman debates: An example of how much (and, in some ways, how little) has changed in NY politics over the intervening decades. Read More

The overarching scandal here wasn’t bid-rigging or the pay-to-play pattern in the developers’ contributions to the governor’s reelection campaign. At the root was a simply awful public policy — corporate welfare on steroids — that neither Cuomo nor most of his critics have definitively renounced, even now. 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.