Media Coverage

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

Albany-based think tank Empire Center attributed it in part to rising Medicaid enrollment, the minimum wage increase and a budget gimmick used earlier this year by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to delay paying Medicaid costs. Closing the gap in 2020 will likely require major cuts to medical services, or a plan to find enough savings elsewhere in the budget. Read More

Cuomo’s first MRT made “real progress” and could do so again, said Bill Hammond, director of health policy for the Empire Center, a fiscally conservative think tank. But much depends on the team, Hammond said. “If it’s structured that same way, where the biggest recipients of Medicaid money are running the show, and the global cap has been weakened, and the governor’s political capital on this issue is diminished, the question is how effective will that be,” he said. Read More


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

Phone: 518-434-3100
Fax: 518-434-3130


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.

Empire Center Logo "Readers will recall that the Empire Center is the think tank that spent months trying to pry Covid data out of Mr. Cuomo’s government, which offered a series of unbelievable excuses for its refusal to disclose...five months after it sued the government, and one week after a state court ruled that the Cuomo administration had violated the law and ordered it to come clean—Team Cuomo finally started coughing up some of the records."   -Wall Street Journal, February 19, 2021