Tag: Government Operations

E.J. McMahon, president of the Empire Center for New York State Policy in Albany, said that governors for at least 30 years have used state agencies to fund staff in the executive chamber as a way to conceal the true size of the governor's staff. But having state authorities like NYSERDA, which is funded by utility fees, pay for the governor's staff, is taking that a step further. "I think it's another degree of inappropriateness," McMahon said. "It's just another way of using an authority as a cash cow." Read More

Some workers earned more than $43 per hour taking part in a post-disaster cleanup project during the summer of 2012, according to data gathered by an Albany-based think tank. A total of 156 people in the Capital Region earned about $1.4 million during the 90-day campaign to clear debris left in and along waterways by floods in the late summer of 2011, according to the Empire Center for Public Policy Inc. Read More

In his State of the State message last week, Gov. Cuomo once again cited the new Tappan Zee Bridge as a symbol of his ability to move forward on big, important infrastructure projects. But the governor hasn’t leveled with commuters and truckers on what they’ll be paying for this progress. Hint: a lot more than they do now. Read More

The SEQR law last saw major revisions in the mid-1990s. The state DEC should take the Empire Center's recommendations to heart as it ponders making changes now. You can't be open for business - as Cuomo is so fond of saying - while still having such a burdensome SEQR law on the books. Read More

In a recent report, the Empire Center for Public Policy said the reference to community and neighborhood character should be eliminated. It's already defined by local planning and zoning laws, the report said. Read More

Governor Cuomo has projected that maintaining a 2 percent cap on annual growth in state expenditures could lead to a budget surplus of up to $2.9 billion by fiscal year 2017. The key question, in his words, is “how do you use this period of growth to actually increase the economic competitiveness of the state of New York?” Based on our analysis of New York’s state and local tax structure, that question could be answered by addressing the following five initial tax policy priorities, which would not only make New York more business-friendly, but would reduce the high tax burden on all New York residents Read More

This forum focused on why long-term financial planning is essential for local governments and school districts, and how such plans can and should be implemented for counties, municipalities and school districts. Read More