Ken Girardin

Director of Research

Ken Girardin is the Director of Research at the Empire Center, where his work focuses on organized labor’s effect and influence on state and local government 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

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

A private charity is seeking the New York Legislature’s go-ahead to build housing for critically ill kids and their families on state-owned property. The Legislature’s answer: sure, you can go ahead and build—if you’re willing to pay extra (possibly a lot extra) to our union friends to do the work. Read More

On the whole, New Yorkers can breathe a sigh of relief if the state Senate’s gridlock forces an early end to the 2018 regular session of the Legislature. Otherwise, the next two weeks will still leave plenty of time for lawmakers to get up to no good. Read More

As a 19th-century Manhattan politician once observed, “no man’s life, liberty or property are safe while the Legislature is in session.” Some things never change. On balance, New Yorkers would probably be better off if this year’s legislative session ended ahead of its scheduled June 21 adjournment. Read More

Earlier this year, Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed a new disclosure standard requiring that details of proposed government union contracts be shared with the public before ratification. Unfortunately—and not for the first time—the governor has failed to meet the standard himself. Read More