Jimmy Vielkind of the Times Union reports on grumblings in the Senate over Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s decision to postpone a Sunday session until Thursday. Meantime, the Senate passed several bills.
Tom Precious, reporter for The Buffalo News, has both a story and a videotaped interview with Senate GOP leader Dean Skelos, today. In the interview, Skelos argues that there should be more legislative input in economic development appropriations. It’s a good interview. Meantime, lawmakers will be back at work this weekend to begin passing bills.
Following statement by Senate Majority Coalition Co-Leader Dean Skelos:
I am pleased that we have reached agreement on a responsible budget that includes the longtime Senate Republican priorities to create new jobs and cut taxes for hardworking, middle-class families. As part of this budget, we will provide a $350 Family Tax Relief check to families with children, offer incentives to help small businesses create new jobs, and eliminate the energy tax surcharge over the next three years, all initiatives highlighted by the Senate Republican conference throughout the budget process.
In the coming days, we will complete passage of the earliest state budget in 30 years, our third consecutive early budget. I thank the Governor for his leadership, and commend our Senate Finance Committee Chair Senator John DeFrancisco, my Coalition Co-Leader Senator Jeff Klein, the Assembly leadership and all of my colleagues for their hard work.
In this morning’s Times Union, Jimmy Vielkind reports on what appears to be a tentative agreement on a new $136.5 billion budget, the centerpiece of which would be an increase of the state’s minimum wage to $9 an hour. Vielkind wrote that the GOP agreed to the increase in exchange for $700 million in tax credits for individuals and small businesses.
Tom Precious of The Buffalo News zeros in on one of the major stumbling blocks to a deal on a new state budget: minimum wage and whether a deal can be made on the establishment of a “training wage.” Many business groups, including The Business Council, are opposed to a hike in the minimum wage. Click here to see our statement on the proposed hike to the minimum wage.
Jimmy Vielkind, reporter for the Times Union, lays out the final negotiations taking place on New York’s $136.5 billion spending plan. He also details some of the agreements which have already been made. The Business Council is keeping an eye on several issues, including the proposed hike in the minimum wage, which it opposes and the so-called 18-utility assessment. The Business Council and many lawmakers oppose Governor Cuomo’s proposal to extend the surcharge for another two years. New Yorkers already pay the highest utility taxes in the U.S.Click here to read Vielkind’s report.
While stating a hike in the state’s minimum wage would raise unemployment, State Senate Republicans have also said they would consider an increase provided that other measures be enacted, including business tax breaks. Tom Precious wrote about the Senate’s budget plan in this morning’s The Buffalo News.
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.
State Senate Democrats and Republicans are claiming that Governor. Cuomo helped members of the Independent Democratic Conference draft a bill delaying a decision on hydraulic fracturing gas drilling through his re-election next year. That’s according to an exclusive New York Post report by columnist Fred Dicker.
The Business Council reacts positively to Senate GOP budget that designed to help New York’s economy and to create jobs. The plan includes many of the budget priorities supported by The Business Council, including the the end to the so-call 18-a energy surcharge, corporate franchise tax reform, reform to the Wage Theft Prevention Act and many other proposals to help small business across the state.
Heather Briccetti, president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc. said, “The budget plan put forth today by the Senate Republicans is clearly designed to control state spending and create good-paying jobs. If we are to improve the state’s economy and create more private-sector jobs we need to reduce the cost of doing business in New York through tax cuts, fiscal restraint, regulatory reform, and targeted investments in our workforce. ”
In a statement released a short time ago, Senate Republican Conference Leader Dean Skelos said his budget plan, “Senate Republican Blueprint for Jobs: ReThink. ReVitalize. ReBuild,” would cut taxes for one million small businesses and reduce energy costs for every business and residential ratepayer in New York, saving them $2.5 billion.
The “Senate Republican Blueprint for Jobs” plan would provide:
• A Tax Cut for One Million Small Businesses
• Tax Relief for Manufacturers
• Lower Energy Bills for Every New Yorker and Every Business
• Sweeping Reforms to Cut Red Tape and Bureaucracy
• Job Training to Help New Yorkers Secure Good, High-Paying Jobs
• Common-Sense Budget Reforms
• Investment Funding to Help Launch Start-Ups
• Incentives to Revitalize Downtowns and Main Streets
• Help for New York’s Veterans to Secure Good-Paying Jobs
• Key Reforms To Reduce the Cost of Doing Business
“There’s been much discussion at the Capitol about a lot of different issues, but when the members of our conference are in their districts, the issue they hear the most about is jobs,” Senator Skelos said. “Helping businesses to create new private sector jobs has to be priority one. Other states are taking major steps to attract new businesses. With our plan, we would make New York much more competitive by reducing taxes on small businesses and manufacturers, cutting energy costs by allowing the utility tax surcharge to expire, and eliminating burdensome and redundant rules that inhibit job growth. If we lower the cost of doing business here, the businesses, jobs and people will follow.”
Senator Patrick Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma), said: “The last two years have shown that state government is capable of reversing decades of dysfunction and again working on behalf of the people. Now New York State must focus its attention on its most central challenge – transforming our economy into one where existing businesses can grow and new businesses want to locate. A long history of regulations, mandates, and taxes on private business has created one of the worst climates in the nation for private sector development. The Senate Republican Blueprint For Jobs is a set of common sense, pro-growth reforms that will create jobs, attract investment, and move our state forward through tax cuts, spending restraint, extensive regulatory reform, and targeted investments in our workforce.”