Following several ignored Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests for its teacher and superintendent contracts, the Empire Center for Public Policy today will file a lawsuit against Malverne Union Free School District in Nassau County on Long Island.
The Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) reform bill signed by Governor Cuomo today is a huge win for government transparency in New York.
The city of New York has been ordered to pay the legal costs and fees to the Empire Center for Public Policy in connection with the Center’s successful effort to obtain city payroll data under the state Freedom of Information Law (FOIL).
Just in time for the start of another school year, the Empire Center has updated its comprehensive SeeThroughNY database of teacher union contracts for school districts across New York State.
The state budget will fund other projects that members of the Legislature undoubtedly will tout at some point. The Empire Center, a fiscally conservative Albany think tank, highlighted on Friday a $385 million increase to the State and Municipal Facilities Program, a pot of general capital project funding that is derided by critics as being opaque and overly broad in terms of the types of projects can be funded.
"When you say what's the local impact? My answer is I have no idea," the Empire Center's E.J. McMahon said. "It's not programmed. It's capital pork."
The new state budget will fund a 35 percent expansion of a murky $1.1 billion pork-barrel slush fund controlled by Governor Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers.
In 2014, the Empire Center created guidelines for what information local governments and school districts should make available on their websites—and found that most of the state's 500 largest municipalities and districts were not meeting that standard.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s employee overtime spending rose by $84 million, or 11 percent, last year, according to a report by The Empire Center for Public Policy, an Albany based think tank.