Research

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s regulatory attack on National Grid’s Long Island gas moratorium threatens to have broader negative financial effects on all of the state’s investor-owned utilities—with implications for the overall business climate as well. Read More

To fight crime and fare evasion in New York City subways, the state Metropolitan Transportation Authority plans to hire 500 more officers for its police department—an unprecedented expansion of what's already one of the largest police forces based in New York State. As of 2018, the MTA Police employed a total of 773 officers, including new hires and officers who retired or otherwise left the payroll during the year, according to records posted at SeeThroughNY, the Empire Center's transparency website.  MTA Police pay averaged $131,959, including average overtime of $34,936.  The number of MTA Police officers was the highest in at least six years; in 2013, there 99 fewer total officers employed by the department. Read More

Why are contract negotiations between public officials and public employee unions routinely conducted behind closed doors? One of New York’s largest public-sector unions has spilled the beans: it’s better for them. Read More

Elizabeth Warren is an unabashed believer in wealth redistribution, so it was predictable that her Medicare for All plan would hit high-income individuals and large corporations with trillions in tax hikes. More surprising are the two other targets she chooses to soak: states that spend most heavily on Medicaid, and employers that offer the costliest health benefits. Read More

Newly released federal data on personal income growth last year point to the continued economic weakness of upstate New York. Measured in current dollars, unadjusted for inflation, personal income nationally increased 5.6 percent from 2017 to 2018, according to the Bureau of Economic Affairs (BEA). Read More

The Cuomo administration has admitted there is a “structural imbalance” in its massive Medicaid budget, which means the Empire State’s biggest single government program is spending beyond its means. So, what does Gov. Andrew Cuomo plan to do about it? Some hint of the answer might be forthcoming in a midyear financial update — whenever, that is, Cuomo gets around to issuing one as required by law. That report is now two weeks overdue. Read More

Governor Andrew Cuomo is threatening to yank the license of a major downstate natural gas supplier—because he doesn’t like how the company responded to his refusal to permit a new supply pipeline. Read More

A bill awaiting Governor Andrew Cuomo’s signature—passed by the Legislature based on a misleading sponsors’ memorandum—could lead to higher bus fares in upstate New York’s four largest metro areas by giving labor unions a new edge in negotiations with regional transit systems. Read More

The 1199 SEIU contract that the Cuomo administration subsidized with Medicaid money last year included a potentially nine-figure payment to the union's lobbying arm, which has spent millions on TV ads praising Governor Cuomo's health policies. Read More

New York State residents pay some of the highest local taxes in the nation. To help New Yorkers compare some of the basic fiscal measures for local governments, the Empire Center for Public Policy continues to calculate effective property tax rates and per-capita values for the spending, debt and tax levels of counties, cities, towns, villages and school districts throughout the state, excluding only New York City. 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.