Media Coverage

In the face of a  projected $6 billion deficit, Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to shift millions of dollars in salaries from the government payroll to the capital budget — thus giving the appearance he’s lowering operating costs, critics charge. Read More

The New York State Division of the Budget surprised the public this past November with an announcement the State faced a $6.1 billion deficit to close for the 2021 budget due by April 1, 2020. The DOB disclosed in its Mid-Year Update that Medicaid costs were exploding -- dramatically more than anticipated -- in both the budget adopted in April 2019 for the current year (fiscal year 2020), as well as for the next one (FY 2021). The budget agency said the situation demanded immediate cuts to both Medicaid and the overall budget. Read More

Groups like the Empire Center for Public Policy, a right-leaning fiscal watchdog, say that rising premium costs are linked to multiple issues, including the high cost of living, the number of unionized healthcare workers, and "heavy state taxes levied directly on health insurance." Read More

But fiscal watchdogs didn't see it that way. E.J. McMahon of the Empire Center for Public Policy, one of the fiscal monitoring groups at the Capitol Tuesday, said the Cuomo administration's leisurely way of releasing budget documents - including key pieces of legislation needed to pass to make up the fiscal plan's specifics - was a show of "contempt for the public, the taxpayers and the Legislature. Every year this process gets murkier and less transparent." Read More

“The Assembly’s whole theory on this is it’s not a spending problem, it’s a revenue problem,” said Bill Hammond, the director of health policy at the Empire Center, a conservative think tank. “The whole idea that you would use a carrot and stick to control Medicaid costs, I think it’s a nonstarter.” Read More

E.J. McMahon of the fiscally conservative Empire Center said the budget must reflect that the state has a spending problem, not a shortage of revenue. He said Cuomo can’t just “paper over” this year’s deficit by tapping reserves and employing gimmicks such as one-shot, nonrecurring revenues, but must institute long-term spending cuts and efficiencies in the budget so deficits don’t deepen in bad economic times. Read More

A report last year by the Albany-based Empire Center indicates that for fiscal year 2017-18, the Schenectady police force had the highest average pay at $94,817 for cities in the Capital Region and upstate New York, slightly above the statewide average. Read More


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Empire Center for Public Policy
30 South Pearl St.
Suite 1210
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Phone: 518-434-3100
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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.