Media Coverage

Medicaid bungle cost state $102 million over 4 years | New York Post

“A little series of mistakes in a program this big can add up to a lot of money in a hurry,” Hammond told The Post. “A quarter of a million dollars is a lot of money. It’s important that the auditors are looking at this and are pointing to things that could be fixed.” [Read_more]

MTA consultant blames poor management for soaring overtime costs | NY Daily News

MTA overtime jumped by $119 million, or 16%, from 2017 to 2018, the Empire Center for Public Policy reported a month before Cohen was hired..

The Empire Center’s report irked MTA board member Larry Schwartz. He demanded a special investigation into the “constant” abuse of overtime. [Read_more]

Blame the MTA’s no-shows for its mind-numbing overtime costs | New York Post

“The low average work-year helps explain the overtime surge,” says E.J. McMahon of the Empire Center for Public Policy.

Turns out, paying high OT rates is cheaper than hiring enough staff to fill in for missing workers. That’s because of all the perks employees get, not to mention the difficulty in letting workers go if they’re no longer needed. [Read_more]

LIRR union officials cry foul: Biometric clocks point of contention | Newsday

The biometric time clocks have been a source of tension since the MTA in May announced its plan to roll them out. The initiative followed an April financial report from the Empire Center for Public Policy that revealed alarmingly high overtime rates among some MTA employees, including former LIRR chief measurement officer Thomas Caputo, who made $344,147 in overtime on top of his base salary of $117,499. [Read_more]

Cuomo’s claim on property taxes omits mandates | Politifact

In 2015, the state capped the local Medicaid share, saving local governments more than $3 billion per year. "Even with the freeze, Medicaid remains one of the largest expenses faced by local governments in New York—and one they have little or no means to control," wrote Bill Hammond, director of health policy at the Empire Center for Public Policy, which is fiscally conservative.  [Read_more]

Retired cops ‘getting away with murder’ by raking in fat pensions: report | New York Post

The Empire Center’s E. J. McMahon said the higher salaries that suburban cops get compared to New York City officers factors into the higher pensions. But he noted that is offset somewhat by a $12,000 supplemental pension that city cops get on top of their regular pension, which is about 50 percent of final salary. [Read_more]

Opinion: Let the sun set on this corporate subsidy program | The Detroit News

The Empire Center of New York and Pioneer Institute of Massachusetts also made similar, NETS-based calculations for their states and likewise found job gains or losses due to relocation were only a tiny part of the state's job picture. Moreover, their reports showed that most establishment and job relocations came from neighboring states. This makes sense given the cost of moving physical and human capital to a new location, and it should serve a cautionary note about chasing distant corporations. [Read_more]

New York City Hopes to Ease Strain on Its Emergency Rooms | Wall Street Journal

Another hurdle is whether the new program can live up to the idea of universal health care, said Bill Hammond, a health-care analyst at the Empire Center, a conservative-leaning New York think tank. New Yorkers already had universal access, he said; the problem is how it is used. Health officials are rightly “trying to fix the delivery system,” said Mr. Hammond; meanwhile, the mayor, “made it sound like they’re fixing the coverage system.” [Read_more]
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