Press Releases

New York’s State Legislature spent $105 million during the six-month period ending last March, according to the latest legislative expenditure data posted at SeeThroughNY, the Empire Center’s transparency website. SeeThroughNY includes expenditures dating back to October 1, 2006, in what has become the most extensive searchable database of its kind available to New Yorkers on the Internet. Read More

The Empire Center for Public Policy today posted updated municipal salaries on the newly revamped, the Center’s transparency website. The data include the names and earnings of the 168,748 people who worked for New York’s city, county, town and village governments in 2010-11. Read More

Thirteen percent of newly retired members of the state Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS) in 2010 qualified for a pension of more than $100,000, according to data posted at, the Empire Center’s government transparency website. Most of the 125 new PFRS retirees with six-figure pensions worked for agencies on Long Island and in the lower Hudson Valley, including the Port Authority of NY & NJ, continuing a trend that has developed in the past decade. Read More

The list of highest-paid MTA employees was topped by Jay Walder, the agency’s chairman and CEO, whose base salary in 2010 was $350,000, followed by seven other high-ranking MTA executives who earned between $241,341 and $285,331. Read More

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey — the shared responsibility of elected officials in two states, with no direct accountability to taxpayers — is among the most generous of the region’s large public-sector employers, as reflected in payroll records posted today at, the Empire Center’s transparency website. The new data include names, titles, locations, base pay and total pay received for those employees. Read More

More than 1,200 retired New York State school teachers and administrators are entitled to annual pensions of more than $100,000, according to pension data posted today on, the government transparency website. The database from the New York State Teachers Retirement System (NYSTRS) includes name, benefit rate, retirement date and last known employer when available, for 136,644 people collecting pensions in 2010. Read More

With New Yorkers preparing to vote on school budget propositions next Tuesday, the Empire Center today released an Internet-based tool allowing taxpayers to compute and compare total school district, municipal and county tax burdens in thousands of communities across the state. Read More

The New York City Police Pension Fund had no legal basis for refusing last year to release the names of retired police officers in response to a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request from the Empire Center, according to an appellate brief filed by the Center this week. Read More

New Yorkers today can search the complete 2010 state government payroll on, the Empire Center’s government transparency website. The database includes, names, titles, base pay rates and total pay received by the 273,983 people who worked in the state’s executive, legislative or judicial branches at any point last year. Read More

“Proactive disclosure” of public information on the Internet is the next logical step in the evolution of government transparency, according to the Empire Center for Public Policy, which today released model legislation to make it a reality. Read More