Regional employers are optimistic about the local business climate, but unconvinced that New York State is becoming more business friendly. This dichotomy is just one of the top line results of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s annual advocacy survey.
The Buffalo Niagara Partnership and BN360, the Partnership’s Young Professionals program, conducted a survey over the summer of the region’s young professionals aimed at better understanding how they view the region and future career opportunities. The survey focused on what the business community and public sector can do to strengthen our region as a place where young professionals want to work and live.
New York State leaders have lacked the political will to fix our state’s broken Scaffold Law for decades. Now a United States Congressman is giving it a try. Rep. John Faso of the Hudson Valley has introduced federal legislation creating a workaround to New York’s burdensome, job killing mandate. The Infrastructure Expansion Act would exempt any construction project in New York State subsidized with federal funds from the state’s current Scaffold Law which mandates absolute liability on building owners and contractors.
A newly introduced piece of federal border security legislation recognizes how our regional economy depends on the easy flow of people and goods between the United States and Canada.
The 2017 New York State Legislative session ended with little legislating, and that is not a bad thing for Buffalo Niagara employers. Compared to the busy and extended budget negotiations earlier this year, the end of session seemed sedate (As I write this, Governor Cuomo has called the Legislature back to Albany to address a few outstanding issues, chief among them mayoral control of New York City schools). Here are the highlights:
A new report by the Empire Center confirms what many have believed for years – New York State’s prevailing wage law drives up construction costs as much as 25 percent, squandering precious tax dollars in the process.
Governor Cuomo’s plan to have 50 percent of New York State’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2030 took center stage this week at an Assembly hearing. At issue is the cost associated with executing this plan, specifically a bailout for Upstate nuclear plants that will hit manufacturers and other high demand users directly in the wallet.
Several of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s state advocacy priorities are now on hold after the Governor and State Legislature failed to reach a final budget agreement. To keep state government running, the Legislature did pass a stop-gap measure through the end of May. This budget extender does includes key issues important to the Partnership and economic development efforts in Buffalo Niagara. They are:
New York State has the third highest Workers’ Compensation premium costs in the country. To ease this growing burden on employers, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership is committed to achieving real reform.
A record crowd at this year’s Legislative Lunch heard what the Buffalo Niagara Partnership does and does not want to see as a part of 2017-18 State Budget. Two-hundred people, including many members of the Western New York legislative delegation came together for lunch and conversation at the Marriott in Amherst. The Partnership detailed where we stand on the Governor’s Executive Budget proposal – specifically what we support, what we oppose and what we think is missing.