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:
Governor Cuomo’s Executive Budget proposal contains an item critical to bringing down the cost of electricity for local manufacturers. The Governor’s plan calls for the scheduled sunset of the 18-a Utility Tax on March 31, 2017. A mandated tax on the end user’s utility bill, 18-a hits manufacturers and other high demand users the hardest and puts them at a competitive disadvantage.
2015-2016 Annual Report to Members Event
On June 22, we presented our Annual Report to more than 300 member company representatives and community members. A main theme of our presentation was the realignment of our staff, our council work, and our policy development to ensure we efficiently and effectively advance the region. Through this realignment, we focused our advocacy efforts, grew our role within workforce development, and celebrated a public private partnership to advance downtown Buffalo.
Higher wages and fewer jobs- that’s the undeniable takeaway from a recent study looking at the economic impact of a $15 an hour minimum wage in New York State. The study was commission by the Empire Center and conducted by two nationally recognized economists who concluded that at least 200,000 jobs would be lost throughout New York State if the minimum wage was raised to $15 an hour. More than 15,000 of those jobs would come from the Buffalo Niagara job market.
The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is a proud founding member of Unshackle Upstate. In the blog below, Unshackle Upstate’s Executive Director Greg Biryla details our statewide effort to oppose a $15 an hour minimum wage. On behalf of our members, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership is committed to working with our partners throughout New York to oppose this 67% increase in the minimum wage.
The decision to drastically hike the hourly wage for fast food workers in New York to $15 an hour will ripple well beyond the fast food industry and will do nothing but further disadvantage businesses and job opportunities in this state.
The higher wages will be phased in over the next several years, with workers earning $15 an hour by end of 2018 in New York City, and by July 2021 in the rest of the state.
The 2015 New York State Legislative session is one for the history books – but not for what was accomplished legislatively.
This tumultuous session, which saw the leaders of both the Senate and Assembly resign their leadership posts in scandal, ended more than a week later than scheduled and with very little legislative activity.
We strongly oppose yet another hike in New York State’s minimum wage.
“New York already pays one of the highest minimum wage rates in the country, with a scheduled increase to $9.00/hour set for the end of this year. Attempts to raise the minimum wage again – to levels that would put New York’s rate well above the vast majority for the country – will do nothing but further disadvantage our state which is already well known as a high-tax, overly regulated, and unfriendly place for business,” said our President & CEO, Dottie Gallagher-Cohen.
As expected, 2015 has already provided some unexpected twists and turns within the energy markets that are sure to continue throughout the year.
However, before we explore forward market conditions, it helps to take a look back and benchmark some of the significant market events that still influence today’s prices.