Ken Girardin

Director of Strategic Initiatives, Fellow

Ken Girardin is a fellow and director of strategic initiatives at the Empire Center. Since joining the Empire Center in 2014, his work has focused on key issues related to New York’s economic competitiveness including labor and energy policy.

Ken worked with E.J. McMahon to produce the first independent analysis of New York’s property tax cap, which demonstrated the cap’s effectiveness and boosted efforts to extend the cap and ultimately make it permanent. He also authored The Janus Stakes, a quantitative analysis of the influence New York’s public-sector unions have over public policy in the Empire State.

Ken has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in materials engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, New York. He previously worked in the New York State Legislature.

Latest Work

One of New York’s most costly unfunded mandates—compulsory binding arbitration of police and fire contract disputes—would be renewed for an extra-long period under one of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed budget bills. Read More

An updated federal filing by New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) shows that the statewide teachers union lost fewer dues-paying members than previously reported in this space—and that NYSUT has been playing fast and loose with federal reporting rules. Read More

Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday again vetoed a pair of union-backed bills designed to sweeten pensions and discourage use of private contractors by state agencies—a positive signal for his third term. Read More

Seven years after its enactment, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s cap on property tax levies continues to be a target of unfounded criticism by some politicians and candidates who either don’t understand the cap or deliberately misrepresent how it works. Read More

Four months after the Janus decision, tens of thousands of New Yorkers are taking home bigger paychecks thanks to the end of forced union fees, having saved about $30 million in the last three months. The ruling brought New York unions in li Read More

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Empire Center for Public Policy
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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.