New York’s recently enacted state budget for 2007-08 includes more than $219 million in appropriations for the state Legislature. At that rate, the New York State Legislature now costs more than $1 million per member — making it one of the best-paid and most expensive legislative bodies in the nation. Read More
Governor Spitzer’s proposed $120.6 billion budget called for state-funded spending growth of 7.8 percent — three times the rate of inflation — while raising business taxes by roughly a half-billion dollars. The budget also included a significant expansion of state-subsidized school property tax breaks for homeowners, to be phased in over three years. Read More
New York’s state legislators have a long history of lavish pork-barrel spending. Much of this spending comes in the form of appropriations known as “member items” — operating grants to local community groups, labor unions and advocacy organizations. But while individual senators and Assembly members are willing to selectively publicize the nature and purpose of their own pet projects, the Legislature as a whole has tried to keep much of the budgeting process for the member items under wraps. Read More
Governor Spitzer’s 2007-08 Executive Budget calls for a series of Medicaid cost-containment measures, including a freeze on hospital and nursing-home reimbursement rates. These steps are appropriate and justifiable-but they only scratch at the surface of the problem. Read More
Eliot Spitzer’s first year as governor of New York has seen the state workforce grow to its highest level since Mario Cuomo’s last year as governor, according to payroll data from the state Comptroller’s Office. Read More
This study shows how greater fairness for New York taxpayers and competitive retirement benefits for government employees can be achieved by switching from the current defined benefit (DB) pension plan to the savings-based defined contribution (DC) model used by the vast majority of private companies. Read More
When premium increases are capped, insurance companies tend to seek rate increases closer to the limit. Tighter regulation of premiums could undermine the profitability of a company whose financial health the state is banking on to finance health care programs. The focus should be on health insurance regulations that drive up rates. Read More
New York State's 2006-07 Executive Budget would kick off a new round of personal income, business and estate tax reductions worth more than $3 billion annually when fully implemented over the next three years. But the cuts are coupled with more than $1 billion in proposed tax and fee increases that would take effect sooner. Read More
New York State has long stood alone in forcing local taxpayers to pay up to half of all Medicaid costs not reimbursed by the federal government. This divided financial responsibility is a key reason why New York easily leads the nation in Medicaid spending. Read More
The state-funded share of Medicaid costs will escalate rapidly over the next few years as Albany assumes responsibility for a greater share of county and New York Medicaid costs, according to projections explained in a new report from the Empire Center for New York State. Read More
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