Keep your hand on your wallet: The Legislature is back in session, and lawmakers are addicted to doling out taxpayer cash to their pet causes — while wiping away their fingerprints.
As the Empire Center for Public Policy noted last week, the state Senate and Assembly managed to funnel $52 million to “hand-picked recipients” — via 1,782 pork-barrel projects — in the waning hours of the normal legislative session. [Read_more]
A liberal former state lawmaker and a conservative fiscal watchdog have joined forces — calling on the state to redirect billions of dollars in unspent legal settlement money to help fix the subways. [Read_more]
State lawmakers failed to renew mayoral control of city schools this week but they did find time to dole out $52 million in pork-barrel grants before they left the Capitol.
The spending included $500,000 for a solar-powered carousel in Buffalo and more than $29 million to local schools and libraries across the state, according to a report from the Empire Center Public Policy. [Read_more]
E.J. McMahon, founder of the Empire Center, an Albany-based think tank, said the CSEA contract is the largest component of the state's workforce spending, which is the third-largest item in the state's budget.
He criticized Cuomo for withholding details of the tentative deal.
"While it's sadly the norm more often than not, it's still indefensible for him to treat this like a secret," McMahon said. [Read_more]
"That's the key issue for people in all ages in New York," says McMahon. "We need better growth-oriented policies. The state has not only not done enough to make upstate friendly to growth; the state tends to do things in regulatory policy that hinder growth." [Read_more]
“When it comes to teacher retirement costs, the city is just pouring more money into a leaky bucket,” said E.J. McMahon, founder of the Empire Center for Public Policy think tank. “It has nothing to do with pupil performance.” [Read_more]
“We’re passed the point of needing to increase the scrutiny on the state’s economic development programs,” said Ken Girardin, communications and marketing manager with the Albany-based Empire Center of Public Policy. “Lawmakers should be pulling the plug on them. They’re a distraction from the policies that hinder economic growth, especially upstate. Every time the state launches another economic development program, they’re basically shaking a jingly set of car keys to distract people from the underlying policies that they are unwilling to fix.” [Read_more]
The feds report that New York’s public schools are awash in cash, a conclusion impossible to dispute. Now the question becomes this: When it comes to education spending, how much is enough? [Read_more]