With the state facing its grimmest budget outlook in years, the legislative session shows signs of becoming a tug-of-war between public schools and health care—the two biggest recipients of state spending and, not coincidentally, the two heaviest-hitting lobbying forces Albany.
This report provides an overview of the current landscape of union representation, finances, lobbying and political activity in New York State. It concludes with recommendations designed to strengthen the rights of government workers and the oversight of union nances that are ultimately derived from taxpayer-funded salaries.
The makers of the anti-addiction drug Vivitrol – whose controversial nationwide lobbying campaign was spotlighted by the New York Times last week – appear to be getting results in Albany.
State legislators have taken their mania for insurance mandates to a new extreme: They’ve passed a bill that arguably accomplishes nothing other than covering unnecessary mammograms.
To raise awareness of an expensive habit, the Empire Center will be tracking health insurance mandates as they progress through the Legislature.
State lawmakers spent $7 million on postage for bulk mailings to constituents between April 1 and September 30, 2016, according to data added today to SeeThroughNY, the Empire Center’s transparency website.
The New York State Senate spent almost $2 million on “office furniture” during the six-month period ending March 31, according to the most recent legislative expenditure reports now searchable on SeeThroughNY, the Empire Center’s transparency website.
Meanwhile, the New York State Assembly paid more than $900,000 for “printing equipment” for its taxpayer-funded print shop in which it, like the State Senate, produces campaign-style mail pieces. Each house’s multi-million dollar operation pays for the design, paper, printing and postage with taxpayer funds.
The best news to come out of the final days of the 2016 legislative session may have concerned what didn’t pass.