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:
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:
Over 500 cities and more than 40 states across the United States have successfully implemented ridesharing efforts, including companies such as Uber and Lyft. However, Buffalo remains the largest economic market in the U.S. that does not offer this transportation alternative. And that has a direct effect on workforce development efforts in our region.
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.
A safe and efficient transportation is vital to the success of an economy and that includes Buffalo Niagara. Therefore, transportation and infrastructure plays a key role in the Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s 2017 Advocacy Agenda. Listing out five specific priorities under this heading, we are stressing that all levels of government should make infrastructure funding and transportation initiatives a priority in order to continue the safe and efficient movement of goods, services, and people throughout the region.