Media Coverage

Editorial: NY lawmakers secretly hand out your money for their own pet causes — again | New York Post

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]

N.Y. pols fail to renew mayoral control of city schools but approve $52M in pork-barrel grants | New York Daily News

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]

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, top union strike 5-year deal | Rochester Democrat & Chronicle

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]

NYS Exposed: Dealing with upstate’s aging population | WHEC (NBC Rochester)

"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]

Economic development spending questioned | Utica Observer-Dispatch

“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]
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