Pension Watch ’06: The Sweetening Continues by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

Seemingly oblivious to the already high and rising cost of taxpayer-funded public pensions in New York, state lawmakers this year passed at least 36 measures that would expand pension benefits for groups of public workers.

Defusing New York’s Pension Bomb by E.J. McMahon | | Reports

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.

More STAR in New York’s Future? by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

With school property taxes continuing to rise across New York State, Albany's leading Republicans are pushing for a major expansion of the STAR (School Tax Relief) program in the next state budget. But more STAR spending will do nothing to reduce New York's oppressive state and local tax burden. Instead, it will promote faster growth in school spending and property tax levies unless it is tied to a firm cap on school district budgets or taxes.

FINAL PATAKI BUDGET: SPEND NOW, CUT TAXES LATER by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

With school property taxes continuing to rise across New York State, Albany's leading Republicans are pushing for a major expansion of the STAR (School Tax Relief) program in the next state budget. But more STAR spending will do nothing to reduce New York's oppressive state and local tax burden. Instead, it will promote faster growth in school spending and property tax levies unless it is tied to a firm cap on school district budgets or taxes.

Rising Medicaid Cost Charted in New Report | Reports

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.

But Remember: It’s All for The Kids | NY Torch

In a single recent 12-month period, the state's largest teachers' union spent $150 million on itself, according to a new study by the Foundation for Education Reform & Accountability.

FERA understandably found it hard to resist linking the "lavish" spending habits of New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) with the union's perennial demand for more state education spending.

Ready for Change: A Statewide New York Voter Survey by E.J. McMahon | | Reports

Looking ahead to a watershed election year, most New York voters are dissatisfied with the performance of their state government, according to the Empire Center’s statewide voter survey. Large majorities also believe that state leaders are more responsive to special interests, or to their own personal interests, than to the voters’ interests.