Research

For decades, "Kill Urstadt!" was the rallying cry of New York City tenant activists and their political allies favoring more stringent rent control. The slogan referred to chapter 372 of the Laws of 1971, better known as the Urstadt Law, through which Albany barred the city from adopting rent limitations that are “more stringent or restrictive than those presently in effect.” Urstadt, who died this week at 92, was proud of the rent deregulation policies that made his surname an epithet in some quarters— and bemused to have been targeted for decades by calls for his (figurative) demise. Read More

A splinter group of Rochester teachers is threatening to stage a wildcat strike tomorrow, and the response from the school district, the teachers' union and state public-sector labor regulators could decide whether other New York districts face similar threats. Read More

#NYCoronavirus: "Hope for the best and prepare for the worst" is a favorite saying of Governor Cuomo, who has rolled it out again to describe how the state will deal with the coronavirus. But when it comes to the next state budget, Cuomo is hoping for better and preparing for more of the same. Read More

#NYCoronavirus: Amid growing fears that a coronavirus pandemic will severely disrupt the global economy, and with the stock market heading for its biggest weekly losses since the 2008 financial crisis, Governor Cuomo has been oddly quiet about the obvious budget implications. Read More

Virginia Democrats are poised to legalize collective bargaining for government employees. In November Democrats brought Richmond under their total control for the first time in more than a quarter-century. The new legislative majorities seem intent on ignoring the painful lessons of New York state’s half-century experiment with government unions. Read More

You’ve got to hand it to New York State United Teachers: the union maintains a remarkably straight face while arguing that the nation’s highest-spending schools and best-paid teachers are starved for funding. Read More

Staff salaries are the dominant category of spending in public school budgets across the state. And the largest item within that category is teacher salaries, which consistently rank among the highest in the country. 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.