About the Author

E.J. McMahon

Edmund J. McMahon is Empire Center's founder and a senior fellow.

Read more by E.J. McMahon

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New York’s Post-Pandemic State Budget Picture Is Looking Worse

Governor Cuomo continues to burn while pols in Washington fiddle around the issue of providing more aid to states and localities in yet another federal stimulus bill. Meanwhile, New York State's plummeting revenues still haven't hit their post-pandemic bottom, according to the First Quarterly Update to the state's FY 2021 Financial Plan. Read More

Cuomo extends costly arbitration law

Three years ago, Governor Andrew Cuomo blew a rare opportunity to fundamentally reform one of the most costly provisions of the New York State law regulating public-sector collective bargaining. Now he's about to blow it again. Read More

A glimpse into slush guidelines

New York State’s $1 billion capital project slush fund is dispensing borrowed money across the state outside public scrutiny, but two local governments have inadvertently given New Yorkers a glimpse of its inner workings. Read More

“Smart” sounded good to 62%

Who could be against “smart schools”? The unsurprising answer: not nearly enough New Yorkers to defeat Proposal 3 on yesterday’s statewide ballot, which authorizes $2 billion in state borrowing to finance local school district purchases of computers and other classroom technology; expand schools’ high-speed and wireless Internet capacity; install “high-tech security features”; and build new classrooms for pre-kindergarten programs. Read More

Google guy to weigh in on school tech funds?

Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, has been named by Governor Cuomo to a commission “charged with advising the State on how to best invest the Governor’s proposed $2 billion Smart Schools Bond Act in order to enhance teaching and learning through technology,” as announced by the governor’s office today.* Read More

Transparency, not

Last week, at a Manhattan news conference that was also “live-streamed” on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s website, the chief executive officer of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and the president of Local 100 of the Transit Workers Union signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) reflecting a tentative contract deal that will shape the MTA’s labor compensation costs for years to come. Read More

Oink!

New York’s newly enacted state budget includes what looks like the biggest, juiciest capital pork pie Albany has cooked up since before the Great Recession. The State and Municipal Facilities Program first popped out of the budget oven last year in the form of a $385 million appropriation, of which $26.65 million was spent. Read More

Pensions, infrastructure and Albany billboards

The Cuomo administration reportedly is talking with labor leaders about tapping public and private pension funds to help pay for state infrastructure projects, including a multi-billion-dollar replacement for the Tappan Zee Bridge... 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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