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Empire Center For New York State Policy Breakfast Forum

Thursday December 2005


E.J. McMahon Director, Empire Center for New York State Policy
Carl Helstrom Executive Director of the JM Foundation and Chairman of State Policy Network

With the media focused on Washington, D.C., it is easy to forget how many crucial issues—such as education, transportation, and criminal justice – are decided by our state governments.

New York is a prime example. Thanks to misguided policies set by Albany politicians, the Empire State is saddled with the highest taxes in the nation, a struggling economy, and a high-cost school system that fails too many of its children.

That is why I invite you to join me for breakfast on Thursday, December 1st to meet with E.J. McMahon, the director of the Manhattan Institute’s Empire Center for New York State Policy, and 45 of his think tank colleagues from around the country. These state think tanks are members of the State Policy Network, a national organization supporting free-market think tanks which, along with the Institute for Policy Innovation, is hosting their trip to New York.

Based in Albany, the Manhattan Institute’s Empire Center was initiated this year to provide a free-market perspective on a wide range of state issues—taxes and spending, health care and Medicaid, education, and public pension reform. The Center aims to influence public discourse through combinations of ongoing commentary and op-eds, provocative studies, policy briefs and events. Studies and briefs are distributed to legislators; staff and administration officials; journalists and columnists throughout the state; and major businesses and other opinion leaders.

Mr. McMahon will report on the Empire Center’s progress to date and discuss the policy challenges facing New York in 2006. We will also hear from Carl Helstrom, Executive Director of the JM Foundation and Chairman of State Policy Network, who will explain how state think tanks have made important contributions to public policy thinking at all levels of government.