Month: August 2013

New York’s monthly employment data continue to show a striking regional divergence in job-creation trends. According to today’s Labor Department report, as of November, year-to-year statewide private sector employment growth in New York slightly trailed the national average — with the economic weakness concentrated in upstate New York. Read More

Rejecting almost every cost-sharing proposal suggested by the management side, a state arbitration panel has awarded a two-year, 6.6 percent increase in base salaries to members of the police officers union in the Village of Rockville Centre in Nassau County... Read More

Today’s Albany Times Union gives front-page play to a story that has picked up surprisingly little sustained media attention since it was first reported two years ago: since 1990, New York State has ripped off the federal government for billions of dollars in overcharges of Medicaid reimbursements for the developmentally disabled — and the feds want their bucks back. Read More

The statewide teachers union is celebrating a court ruling that, in contravention of long-established precedents, would allow the New York State Teachers Retirement System to treat the identities of its pension recipients as confidential information. The Empire Center will be seeking leave to appeal the case, as our director, Tim Hoefer, announced yesterday. Read More

Stop us if you’ve heard this one: “We know our economy is stronger when we reward an honest day’s work with honest wages. But today, a full-time worker making the minimum wage earns $14,500 a year … [A] family with two kids that earns the minimum wage still lives below the poverty line. That’s wrong.” Read More

Assembly Democrats have introduced eight bills to sweeten pensions, the Citizens Budget Commission pointed out yesterday. Here’s a nice CBC chart summarizing those measures. By far the costliest, sponsored by Assemblymen Peter Abbate and William Colton of Brooklyn, would boost the salary “multiplier” used to calculate pensions for employees with more than 30 years service. Read More

Opponents of Governor Cuomo’s 2 percent property tax cap were able to stick one major exclusion into the legislation before it passed in 2011: a provision excluding a portion of local government and school employee pensions from the total allowable “levy limit” in years when taxpayer-funded employer contributions rise by more than two percentage points of salaries. Read More

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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.

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