Media Coverage

The government watchdogs at the Empire Center report that double dippers statewide grew by more than 4 percent from July 2018 to July 2019, with at least 43 state and local public employees under age 65 getting new waivers to collect combined public pensions and government paychecks of $200,000 or more at the same time. Seven “retirees” collected combined totals exceeding $300,000. Read More

In the resulting rush to get out of town, Assembly and Senate leaders gave Gov. Andrew Cuomo wide latitude to essentially proceed however he saw fit, leading to a state budge process that E.J. McMahon, research director for the good-government group Empire Center, called as secretive "as I've ever seen in 30 or 40 years." Read More

“We are at the early stages of what shapes up as the biggest state and city fiscal crisis since the Great Depression,” said E.J. McMahon of the Empire Center. “Borrowing and short-term cuts aside, the budget doesn’t chart any clear path out of it.” Read More

"My prediction for now is this is going to be the most severe and prolonged fiscal crisis New York state and its local governments have seen, really since the Great Depression when government did not operate at the scale it now operates," Empire Center Research Director E.J. McMahon said. Read More

Bill Hammond, director of health policy at the conservative-leaning think tank the Empire Center, suggested this is because the proposed cuts are meant to slow the otherwise rapid growth in Medicaid spending, which means an increase is still possible.  Read More

“It’s made up on the fly,” said the Empire Center think tank's E.J. McMahon, who has spent decades analyzing state budgets. “It really sounds contrived … They can’t possibly spend what Cuomo proposed unless they get a federal bailout,” he said. “The tactic is that this budget is balanced as long as the federal government gives them $10 billion. What?” Read More

The budget authorizes borrowing an extra $11 billion to help cover the state's costs and lost revenues, including $8 billion to account for the state and federal government pushing its income-tax filing deadline from April to July, according to the Empire Center, an Albany-based think tank. Read More

Although the state is trying to keep total school aid in line with last year's, with a slight increase of nearly $100 million for total aid to school districts at $27.4 billion, New York saves about $1.2 billion by using federal aid to alleviate costs, said E.J. McMahon, founder and research director of Empire Center for Public Policy, a fiscally conservative think tank based in Albany. Read More

"So the choice is really, waste the money that way, or do a bill that actually provides funding to New York state. That bill does not even get us a fraction of the amount of money that is needed." Bill Hammond, director of health policy for the Empire Center, a fiscally conservative think tank based in Albany, concurred with Mujica's assessment, noting that these payments would be made quarterly. Read More

But will New York actually have the money that it’s promising schools? E.J. McMahon, founder and research director of the Empire Center for Public Policy, scoffed at the aid figures distributed on Wednesday, saying he doubted the state could afford them without a federal bailout or long-term borrowing. Read More

In other words, the state could very well borrow the whole $11 billion. And if it doesn’t get $11 billion back in the short term, the budget allows the debt to be repaid by issuing more debt in the form of 30-year bonds, according to an analysis by Empire Center’s E.J. McMahon. Read More

Subscribe

Sign up to receive updates about Empire Center research, news and events in your email.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Empire Center for Public Policy
30 South Pearl St.
Suite 1210
Albany, NY 12207

Phone: 518-434-3100
Fax: 518-434-3130
E-Mail: info@empirecenter.org

About

The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.