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

State officials are still working overtime to shield government unions from the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME. This week, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office has issued new guidelines effectively giving the unions the first say on efforts by employees to opt out of union dues payments. Read More

Desperate to minimize a potential loss of dues under a recent Supreme Court ruling, one of New York State’s largest public employee unions is telling public employers to disregard the union’s own previously stated conditions for letting workers stop paying dues. The tactic employed by the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) in response to the Janus v. AFSCME decision will put local governments in a bind—which is likely to end up generating added legal bills for taxpayers. Read More

Governor Andrew Cuomo hit a new extreme in his bid to prop up government unions, telling public employers to ignore parts of both state law and the Supreme Court ruling in Janus v. AFSCME. Read More

Upstate New York ratepayers will pick up more than half the multi-billion-dollar tab for a massive offshore wind turbine project that will provide very costly power for Long Island and New York City. Read More

A senior member of the state Assembly is already promising to introduce legislation that would effectively use taxpayer money to reimburse government unions for the “agency fees” they are no longer allowed to collect under last week’s SCOTUS decision in Janus v. AFSCME. Read More

As of yesterday, New York’s government employers can no longer deduct dues-like “agency fees” from government employees who haven’t joined a union, even if the union involved has a contract requiring them. Read More

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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.