Former Assemblyman Richard Brodsky and EJ McMahon, Founder and Research Director of the Empire Center, shared their insights into the effects of the legislation and the political implications.

 

 

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Bill Requires Municipalities To Maintain Their Websites

Skoufis’ legislation references a 2014 Empire Center highlighted the poor quality of municipal websites many of which lacked basic information. The report found that less than 20% of local governments received a passing grade on their website’s availability of information and usability including two municipalities that did not have a website. Some of those websites have improved over the past five years, including Jamestown’s, which received an “F” rating in 2014. The updated city website includes all of the information Skoufis’ legislation would mandate. Read More

Albany’s ‘big ugly’ provides political cover, but has some benefits

“This has been one of the worst developments in the political process here in New York in modern history,” said E.J. McMahon of the fiscally conservative Empire Center for Public Policy think tank and a former aide to Gov. George Pataki. “It really is corrosive of accountability and democracy and, implicitly, the constitution prohibits it.” Read More

Panel at LIA meeting knocks state single-payer health care bill

"Ninety-three hospitals would lose more than 10 percent of revenue," said Bill Hammond, director of health policy at the Empire Center for Public Policy, a fiscally conservative  Albany think tank. Read More

‘Pork’ Bill Hangs Over Other Issues in Albany

E.J. McMahon, research director for the Empire Center for Public Policy, a fiscally conservative think tank, questioned the need for these projects. His organization found recent SAM allocations paid for projects he deemed frivolous such as a skate park and a local highway garage. “It’s this huge mutual back-scratching,” he said. Read More

UNFINISHED BUSINESS AS ALBANY SESSION CLOCK TICKS DOWN

Of the $508 million in pork awarded last year, most of it came from the State and Municipal Facilities program, which is widely derided as legislative slush fund, according to an analysis by the fiscally  conservative Empire Center for Public Policy. Read More

EDITORIAL: When Albany plays Santa, hold on to your wallet

As the Empire Center’s Ken Girardin reported last week, new SMFP cash “was noticeably missing from the budget bills adopted on April 1, raising the suspicion that a fresh infusion” will be part of the Big Ugly legislation rushed through in the end-of-session crush. Read More

Business lobby opposes wage mandate

E.J. McMahon, research director of the Empire Center for Public Policy, estimated that expanding the prevailing-wage mandate in New York to all projects that get public support would boost construction costs significantly. In an essay published after the legislation was filed, McMahon argued the proposed expansion resembled a “costly protection racket” for New York’s “politically powerful labor cartel.” Read More

Report says move start of state fiscal year, add budget office

Moving the start of the state fiscal year to July 1 and establishing a Legislative Budget Office are among the recommendations of the Empire Center to improve accountability in the budget process. 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.

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