For the first time in decades, at least one house of the Legislature may be ready to advance reform of New York's State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQR), long identified as a major obstacle to growth across the state. Read More
In 2014, the Empire Center created guidelines for what information local governments and school districts should make available on their websites—and found that most of the state's 500 largest municipalities and districts were not meeting that standard. Read More
New York’s Legislature has been exempt from many provisions of the state Freedom of Information Law since FOIL was first enacted in 1974. The Assembly and Senate ultimately decide how much legislative information to make public. This makes about as much sense as putting Cookie Monster in charge of security at the Chips Ahoy factory. As a result, a lot of information on legislative matters ranging from individual employee timesheets to a billion-dollar slush fund has been concealed from taxpayers. But if Governor Cuomo has his way, that could soon change. Read More
"I want the Legislature to understand that we're serious about reform." So said Governor Andrew Cuomo following his veto of two bills that would have strengthened New York's Freedom of Information Law (FOIL)—helping citizens hold government, at all levels, more accountable. So if you can follow the governor's logic, before he could show us he was "serious about reform," he had to block a pair of reforms he had sitting on his desk. Read More
Eighteen school districts sought to override the state's property tax cap in yesterday's school budget votes—the fewest attempts since the tax cap was enacted. Seven of those districts failed to win the 60 percent supermajority required to override the cap. Read More
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