Research

Two pension funds affiliated with 1199 SEIU, the state's largest and most influential union for  health-care workers, recently disclosed that they are in critical status due to funding or liquidity problems for an 11th straight year. Read More

There's good news and bad news about Rochester schools from a new study comparing the variation in educational quality within urban educational systems. The good news: measured by standardized pupil proficiency scores, there's only an 8.6 percentage point gap between good and bad schools in Rochester. The bad news: even Rochester's good schools—those in the 75th percentile—have the lowest proficiency scores among the 68 largest urban school systems in the country. Read More

New York’s AFL-CIO has issued a statement blasting the “misinformation campaign” by business groups fighting organized labor’s push to impose union pay levels on private developments receiving public subsidies. There is, indeed, plenty of misinformation wafting around this issue—but virtually all of it originated  in the union camp. Read More

New York lawmakers and Governor Andrew Cuomo last year tapped their favorite slush funds for more than $500 million in pork barrel spending, according to the latest tally posted at our SeeThroughNY transparency database. And before the current session ends in two weeks, the Legislature could once again jack up its favorite pork appropriations. Read More

Unemployment insurance programs are meant to help people who become jobless through no fault of their own. Nearly every state has disallowed benefits to employees who are on strike. But New York’s state Senate recently voted to let strikers get benefits one week after walking off the job—essentially putting them on equal footing with those who are laid off. Read More

The balance of unspent money in the Essential Plan Trust Fund ballooned to a new high of $1.2 billion as of March 31, records from the comptroller's office show. The surplus more than tripled since the same time last year – even as the Trump administration disrupted federal aid for the program, which provides health coverage to low-income New Yorkers, and the Cuomo administration diverted $635 million in Essential Plan funds to subsidize struggling hospitals. Read More

The scores of New York's nursing homes dipped to an average of 3.19 out of 5 stars in the federal government's latest Nursing Home Compare report card, down from 3.33 in January. However, the national average dropped even further, from 3.35 stars to 3.06. New York's standing improved from 31st to 27th among the 50 states. 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.