Monthly Archives: February 2013

WNY cheesemaker could triple its plant size and double its workforce

Yanceys Fancy Logo 900James Fink, reporter for Buffalo Business First, writes about an expansion plan that would triple Yancy’s Fancy’s plant size and double its workforce. Yancy’s Fancy makes more than 45 different flavors and types of cheeses.

Click here to read Fink’s article about this major development in WNY.

Thousands rally at Capitol for repeal of New York’s new gun control law

Although The Business Council has not taken a position on New York’s new gun control law, we thought you would be interested in hearing that nearly 10,000 people rallied at the Capitol today, one of the largest gatherings we have seen here. The pro-gun crowd called on Governor Cuomo to repeal the state’s new gun laws passed by the legislature in January. They ban the sale of most semi-automatic weapons and limit magazines to to seven bullets. It’s not certain if any gun manufacturers make seven round magazines.

Here are some stories that review the gun law:

What’s in New York State’s gun law [Saugerties Times]
In gun law, Cuomo mandated something that doesn’t exist [Democrat and Chronicle]
New gun law challenged as Cuomo’s approval suffers [Legislative Gazette]

Gun Rally

Crain’s: EmblemHealth drops small biz insurance plans

Crain's New York Business logoFirms facing fewer choices will likely turn to the state health exchange being set up under Obamacare. Brokers, meanwhile, feel the pinch

Barbara Benson, reporter for Crain’s New York Business, writes about EblemHealth’s announcement that it’s “making major changes to its health insurance products.” It’s a move, Benson writes, that “mirrors actions taken by Empire BlueCross BlueShield in 2011 when it cut its business in the small-group market by about two-thirds because the plans had become so unprofitable.”

Both Emblem Health and Empire BlueCross BlueShield are members of The Business Council.

Click here to read Benson’s story.

Quinnipiac Poll: New Yorkers back ban on take-out foam more than 2-1

Giuliani Ranked Best Mayor, With Koch, Bloomberg Tied

New York City voters support 69 – 26 percent Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed ban on plastic foam food and drink containers, with strong support from every borough and in every group except Republicans, according to a Quinnipiac University poll.

The ban on large servings of sugary drinks is harder to swallow, especially among black voters who oppose the ban 60 – 38 percent. All New York City voters are opposed 51 – 46 percent, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. Women are divided on the big drink ban, with 48 percent in favor and 49 percent opposed. Men oppose the ban 54 – 44 percent. White and Hispanic voters also are divided.

New York City voters approve 53 – 40 percent of the job Bloomberg is doing, compared to 56 – 37 percent January 17.

Rudolph Giuliani did the best job of any New York City mayor in the last 50 years, 31 percent of voters say, with 25 percent for Ed Koch and 24 percent for Bloomberg. David Dinkins and John Lindsay get 6 percent each with 1 percent for Abe Beam.

Click here to read more.

Video: Governor Cuomo, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens

A thanks to Jimmy Vielkind of the Times Union for posting the video of Governor Cuomo’s Q&A with journalists Wednesday. Jimmy writes, “Cuomo talked about his upcoming fundraising blitz — it’s for his re-election efforts, he swears, not a 2016 presidential bid, even IF events are in Florida — and said the ongoing stalemate over sequestration has reduced citizen confidence in the federal government.” Martens spoke briefly about the pending health report on hydrofracking – he, like the rest of us, is simply waiting for it.

Goal is on-time budget

In this morning’s edition of the Times Union, reporter Jimmy Vielkind about efforts to get a budget agreed upon by the March 31 deadline. But there are some sticking points, including the proposed minimum wage increase and casino siting.

Click here to read the story.

The Business Council opposes an increase in the minimum wage.[message_box title=”Take Action” color=”red”]

We need to improve New York’s economy and create good-paying private-sector jobs. Raising the minimum wage will not do that.  It would increase the cost to affected employers – with direct costs of nearly $3000 for each full-time minimum wage employee, plus indirect costs caused by “wage compression,” as wages are adjusted for higher earning employees.

To meet these costs, employers will have to eliminate jobs or reduce workers’ hours, raise prices, defer investments, or reduce profits – none of which promotes economic growth.  Cost increases will reduce the number of entry level jobs for persons with the least skill and experience, whom the proponents of a higher minimum wage purport to help.

Tell the Governor and the State Legislature not to raise the minimum wage.

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New York Assembly moves to ban fracking another year

Karen DeWitt, reporter for NYS Public Radio/WXXI, posted the following story on a bill to ban fracking in New York until May of next year. The Business Council has long urged Governor Cuomo to end the nearly four years of delays and allow natural gas development in New York. The Business Council released a after yet another delay caused by Department of Health review two weeks ago:

The economic opportunities and potential jobs that it would bring could have a lasting positive impact on the region and the state.

We agree with DEC Commissioner Marten’s when he says that, “the science, not emotion, will determine the outcome” of shale gas development, and that delays in the Department of Health’s Public Health Review does not mean that the issuance of permits for high-volume hydraulic fracturing would be delayed.

With many studies complete it is obvious that the science is clearly on the side of moving forward. Further delay will only have negative impact on our economy and our ability to create good-paying jobs. Heather Briccetti, president & CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc.

Click here to read DeWitt’s report.