Ken Girardin, with the fiscal watchdog group The Empire Center, said the new state law is a “favor to the union leaders” and bad public policy. But he said unions in New York still stand to lose significant revenue — and possibly, political clout — from the changes.
The legislation has long been debated by Gottfried, who projects it will save the state $45 billion a year, and the conservative-leaning Empire Center for Public Policy's Bill Hammond, who said implementation will be prohibitively expensive and poses many logistical challenges, beginning with securing a waiver from the federal government.
Now the state is facing complaints by districts that the process to obtain their piece of the pie is too lengthy and complicated. A study by the Empire Center called the rollout to local districts "sluggish and haphazard." The fiscally conservative center also questioned how the borrowed money is being spent, with such a sizable portion going for construction, not the new technology on which the bond issue was sold to voters.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s economic development programs have been the subject of two federal corruption trials that ended with convictions for two of Cuomo’s former associates. But some say problems with the $9 billion programs go beyond corruption and that the structure of the programs is flawed.
Pensions for government retirees have been public information in New York since forever, but for nearly a decade, the Empire Center for Public Policy has been trying to collect and publish names and dollar figures on its SeeThroughNY.net website — only to be stymied by the pension funds.
The battle over public-sector union dues in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Janus v. AFSCME decision heated up on Wednesday as the Cuomo Administration and outside groups offered up differing opinions on the importance of membership cards.
Since taking office in 2011, Gov. Cuomo has doled out more than $10 billion in public funding and tax breaks in the name of economic development — costly giveaways that have resulted in a series of broken promises and boondoggles.
The Empire Center has filed a petition in state Supreme Court that claims the city acted “unlawfully” in failing to provide an accounting of pensions of former NYPD cops.