Category: Commentary

Last week, the Illinois Supreme Court struck down a desperately needed overhaul of that state’s massively underfunded pension system. The case has chilling implications for Albany as well as Springfield — and for New York City as well as Chicago. Read More

Few economic development initiatives in New York State’s history have been the subject of more marketing hype than START-UP NY, which created scores of tax-free micro-zones on and near college campuses around the state. Governor Andrew Cuomo has spared no superlatives in describing his expectations for the program, backing it with a slick, $47 million advertising campaign that touted START-UP as proof that “in New York State, we’re changing the way we do business.” But the results so far haven’t come close to living up to the governor’s rhetoric. Read More

The Southern Tier has been among the most poorly performing regions of a weak upstate New York economy over the past four years. But you sure wouldn’t know it from listening to Howard Zemsky, the Buffalo developer recently named by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to chair the Empire State Development Corp. Read More

City workers who qualify for pensions are also eligible for lifetime health insurance coverage — a retirement benefit that has almost disappeared in the private sector. The estimated value of retiree health benefits promised to current and future city government pensioners is now roughly $90 billion, tipping the city’s overall financial balance sheet well into the red. Read More

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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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