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]
New York’s ongoing experiment in state-run venture capital investment appears—not for the first time—to have been ripped off. [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]
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]
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]
In a sign of a deepening state budget crisis, the Cuomo administration says it is planning to delay another $2 billion in Medicaid payments this coming spring, according to a recent report from the Budget Division. [Read_more]
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s energy agency issued a stern correction to an October 24 blog post in this space that said subsidies for offshore wind developers could cost ratepayers more than $6 billion. NYSERDA, the state Energy Research and Development Authority, said my calculations (which were based on NYSERDA’s own data) were “incorrect and misleading.” So I went back and double-checked. In one respect, I did make a mistake, explained below—but not in reaching the $6 billion estimate.
In fact, the final price tag could climb even higher. [Read_more]
Governor Cuomo has kept his perfect record of consistently ignoring the statutory deadline for issuing a mid-year financial plan update. [Read_more]
The board of the New York State Teacher Retirement System this week voted to reduce the pension plan's assumed rate of return on investments from 7.25 percent to 7.10 percent, which is (a) a step in the right direction, and (b) still unrealistically high.
The new projected return assumption, used as the discount rate for calculating and funding long-term teacher pension liabilities, matches NYSTRS' actual return on investments during the fiscal year ended June 30, which fell 0.15 percent short of the previous target. [Read_more]
A Cuomo administration analysis of its own Medicaid rate hike last fall appeared to show a disproportionate benefit for hospitals associated with the politically influential labor union 1199SEIU. [Read_more]