Press Releases

Empire Center Releases 2017 “What They Make” | Press Releases

A Ramapo town police officer who collected nearly $442,000 was New York State’s highest paid local government employee outside New York City during the 12 months ending March 31, according to the 2017 edition of “What They Make,” the Empire Center annual analysis of local government pay. [Read_more]

Update on Legislative Spending | Press Releases

In the original version of a news release yesterday summarizing the latest state legislative expenditure data posted at, the Empire Center reported that the Assembly had “prematurely” begun paying salaries to three members chosen in the 2016 general election to fill seats vacated before those elections, after having similarly begun payments to members elected to already vacated seats in the 2014 general election. [Read_more]

Assembly Freshmen Find Extra Pay in Seats | Press Releases

Three members of the state Assembly were added to the state payroll after their November 2016 elections, allowing them to collect almost $17,000 in extra pay, according to data posted today on, the Empire Center’s transparency website. [Read_more]

Three in Five New FDNY Pensions Hit Six-Figures | Press Releases

Nearly two-thirds (264) of the 420 firefighters and fire officers who retired from the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) during 2016 are eligible to collect pensions of at least $100,000, according to data posted today on SeeThroughNY, the Empire Center’s transparency website. [Read_more]

Big OT in Big Apple | Press Releases

More than 300 New York City government employees more than doubled their pay with overtime during the city’s 2017 fiscal year, according to the latest payroll data added to SeeThroughNY, the Empire Center’s transparency website. [Read_more]

Taxpayers On Hook For More Six-Figure Pensions | Press Releases

The number of retirees receiving pensions over $100,000 from the New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) continued to increase during the system’s 2017 fiscal year, according to data uploaded today to SeeThroughNY, the Empire Center’s transparency website. A total of 3,817 retirees collected pensions over $100,000 during the fiscal year ending March 31. [Read_more]

Brodsky and McMahon: Use Windfall Funds to Fix MTA, Roads | Press Releases

Former Assembly member Richard Brodsky and the Empire Center’s E.J. McMahon have sent a joint letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo, legislative leaders and the chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), urging the state to redirect up to $4 billion in unspent financial penalty settlement funds to help finance desperately needed subway repairs as well as highway and bridge work. [Read_more]

Another big Albany “oink” | Press Releases

A $500,000 grant to support a solar-powered carousel in Buffalo—raising that project’s total taxpayer subsidy to more than $1 million—was among the 1,782 local pork barrel projects awarded grants by state lawmakers in the final hours of their 2017 regular session. [Read_more]

Health + Hospitals Payroll Hits $2.9 Billion | Press Releases

The 48,346-employee payroll of New York City’s fiscally stressed Health and Hospitals Corporation swelled to $2.9 billion last year, a 16 percent jump from $2.5 billion in 2014, according to data added today to, the Empire Center’s transparency website. [Read_more]