Healthy skepticism was warranted back in January, when Gov. Eliot Spitzer first announced he would name a special commission to recommend a cap on school property taxes. Sure, the governor's rhetoric was tough and right on the mark. And he was embracing an idea he'd rejected during his 2006 gubernatorial run - and choosing his primary opponent, Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi to chair the commission, ensuring this would at least be a high-profile effort. Read More

Retirees' benefits are the fastest-growing part of overall health-coverage costs for New York state and local government. They're already nearly 40 percent of the state's employee-health budget, and they'll consume more than a third of the roughly $3.5 billion New York City will spend on health benefits this year. Read More

Spitzer’s expansion of education funding and restructuring of the school aid formula may be his most important legacy. Unfortunately, C4E has been seriously hobbled by flaws in its assumptions about the mechanisms of reform, by misguided beliefs about “what works” in achieving excellence, and by a compressed timeline for adoption and implementation. Read More

After fending off a federal tax hike last year, private equity and hedge funds have been mostly immune from the ongoing carnage on Wall Street. That makes them a bigger target than ever for revenue-hungry politicians and interest groups on the state and local level. Read More

Eliot Spitzer had been governor for less than a month when he addressed a crowd of dignitaries at the state Education Department. The department's historic building was an appropriate setting for a historic proposal: pumping more money into public education than ever before, in return for more accountability than ever. Read More

Even before it was over, this year's New York state budget process had devolved into a giant step backward for fiscal responsibility, accountability and transparency. Given Albany's already rock-bottom standards in all three areas, this was quite an accomplishment. Read More

Politicians have a habit of crying wolf over budget cuts - even when the "cuts" actually amount to smaller-than-desired spending increases. But amid all the other noise surrounding the final stage of budget negotiations in Albany late this week, New York's county executives made a strong case against what would be one of the more outrageous intergovernmental rip-offs since the creation of the Medicaid program over 40 years ago. Read More

Energy was one of the few issue areas in which David Paterson was allowed at least briefly to play a visible role during 14 months in the shadows as New York's lieutenant governor. But now that he has succeeded the disgraced Eliot Spitzer in the governor's office, Paterson needs to break with policies that have made energy increasingly expensive and potentially scarce in New York. Read More

Empire Center Logo Enjoying our work? Sign up for email alerts on our latest news and research.
Together, we can make New York a better place to live and work!