Media Coverage

Upstate left behind in NY job gains | Press & Sun-Bulletin

"The economic recovery has been far from 'even' across New York," said E.J McMahon, from the conservative-leaning, Albany-based Empire Center, in a recent employment analysis. "In fact, the last eight years have seen a sharp and growing economic divide between upstate and downstate." [Read_more]

Cuomo’s budget numbers get mixed reviews | WBFO

McMahon credits Cuomo for pushing to make the state’s property tax cap permanent. And he said the governor is holding the line on spending growth once again. Cuomo said he’s keeping the spending growth rate to 2 percent, but McMahon said the rate is actually closer to 3 percent. [Read_more]

Editorial: Cuomo appears to be staying the course with new budget | Post Star

Unfortunately, the Empire Center identified what it called a “yellow flag” with personal income tax receipts late in the year and it is expected that receipts might fall as much as $500 million over mid-year projections because of the volatility in the stock market. If that trend continues, New York could see its revenues falling short this year. The state might want to tighten its fiscal belt. [Read_more]

Business groups say Cuomo’s prevailing wage plan a ‘death sentence’ for development | The Buffalo News

The letter pointed to a report from the Empire Center for Public Policy, a fiscally conservative think tank, which compared the prevailing wage to the regional medians of occupational wages for all non-residential building construction workers, including those paid union scale. It found the prevailing wage increased construction labor costs by 20 percent in the Buffalo region. [Read_more]

Cuomo budget hikes school aid 3.6 percent, extends millionaire’s tax | Newsday

“It’s a stay-the-course budget for the governor, for better and for worse,” said E.J. McMahon of the fiscally conservative Empire Center think tank in Albany. “For the better, he’s restraining spending and promising to put the property-tax cap in the budget. That shows he means business. For the worse, the news of the budget is the weakness of revenues.” [Read_more]

How New York City will provide health care to everyone | Gannett News Service

The plan, though, may ultimately be modest because New York and the city already offer a variety of programs to help the uninsured, wrote Bill Hammond, director of health policy for the Empire Center, a fiscally conservative think tank in Albany. [Read_more]

New York state ranks first in population loss (again) | Westchester County Business Journal

But the latest Census report marks the third straight year New York has lost population, as the overall population in the country grows. New York continues to have more births than deaths, but it is losing residents to other states. The issue was noted in a report by the Empire Center for Public Policy, a fiscally conservative Albany think tank. [Read_more]

Hurdles ahead for state single-payer healthcare | Times Union

Empire Center for Public Policy's Bill Hammond, a longtime critic of the NY Health Act, argued in NY Torch, a public policy blog, that that the proposal to accommodate municipal workers "would seem to create a two-tiered system, with one set of rules for city employees, and another set for everyone else." He said that the proposed amendment would also undermine any projected healthcare savings for New York City. [Read_more]

New York’s job growth: a tale of two states | Gannett News Service

The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent in November, the lowest of any year on record dating back to 1976, according to the state's Labor Department, which released its monthly report Thursday.

But a new report from the Empire Center, a fiscally conservative think-tank based in Albany, attributes the low unemployment numbers in part to an exodus from upstate municipalities and shows the state lagging behind the national average in private sector job growth. [Read_more]