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Press Releases

DASNY Dished Out $152 Million in Pork Last Year

New York’s governor and state lawmakers dished out $120 million for local projects favored by state lawmakers through the state Dormitory Authority in the last twelve months, according to data posted today on SeeThroughNY.net, the Empire Center’s government transparency website. Read More

NYCERS Pensions Up At Least $135 Million

Maximum eligible pension benefits for retirees of the New York City Employees Retirement System (NYCERS) increased by $135 million in 2019 over the previous year, even though some payments to retired corrections officers were left out of the data for the first time, according to data posted today at SeeThroughNY.net, the Empire Center’s transparency website. Read More

Double-Dippers Continue to Increase

The number of New York public-sector early retirees allowed to collect both a state or local government paycheck and a full public pension benefit grew by over 4 percent from July 2018 to July 2019, according to data posted today on SeeThroughNY.net, the Empire Center’s transparency website. Read More

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Cuomo’s Stall: Gov Keeps Holding Off on Budget Cuts

On April 2, with New York’s COVID-19 curve still rising ominously, state lawmakers  almost unchanged from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s pre-pandemic January proposal. With the economy in a coma and revenues crashing, the plan obviously was awash in red i Read More

Washington shouldn’t fund NY’s “normal” budgets

With the coronavirus lockdown continuing to erode tax revenues, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has turned up the volume on his demands for a federal bailout of the New York state budget. In a weekend briefing, the governor repeated his estimate that the Empire State will need help closing a deficit of $10 billion to $15 billion. “I don’t have any funding to do what I normally do,” he said. Read More

Why is NYC the epicenter?

In case it wasn’t obvious from the headlines and body count, New York is currently suffering more severely from the coronavirus epidemic than almost anywhere else. Read More

How the federal relief bill cheats New York

In the predictably messy $2 trillion coronavirus response bill approved by Congress on Friday, one provision stands out as a particular travesty: the nonsensical way it distributes public health funding to the states. Read More

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Medicaid Saving Proposals from Bill Hammond

The 11 proposals, summarized in the table below, were submitted to Governor Cuomo’s Medicaid Redesign Team at a public comment forum on Friday at the Albany Capital Center. The Medicaid Redesign Team, appointed Feb. 4, is tasked with finding $2.5 billion in Medicaid savings to balance the state budget due April 1. Consistent with Cuomo’s guidelines, Hammond’s proposals would have no impact on current beneficiaries or local governments. Read More

Testimony: FY2021 New York State Budget – Taxes

The state’s current fiscal challenge is caused by excess spending, not insufficient taxes.  The governor’s projection of PIT receipts—which apparently have recovered from the post-tax reform disruption in the final quarter of fiscal 2019—assumes a steady continuing uptick in revenues across the next four years, despite the continuing phase-in of significant “middle class” income tax cuts through 2025.   But this could prove overly optimistic. Read More

Testimony: FY2021 NYS Budget – Health Care and Medicaid

The main thing wrong with Governor Cuomo’s Medicaid budget is that it barely exists. His executive budget proposes to reduce funding for the state’s biggest and most important program by 10 percent, or $2.5 billion, but omits any plan for making that happen. Instead, the governor is delegating details to a panel of industry insiders who haven’t yet been named and don’t have a clear deadline. Read More

Testimony: New York Health Act Public Hearing

If ever a piece of legislation warranted thorough vetting, in full public view, it’s a bill that would compel 20 million people to switch health plans, abolish tens of thousands of jobs, upend a sixth of the economy and levy the largest tax increase in the history of this or any other state. Read More

All Testimony

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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.