New York Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed a ‘Buy American’ Act in his 2017-18 Executive Budget. This legislation would establish a preference in all state and public authority contracts and procurements over $100,000 for bidders who agree to provide products that are manufactured in the U.S. If implemented, it would threaten the robust trade and investment relationship New York State has with Canada.
Last week, Grant Loomis and I joined twenty-five members of the Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition (GLMCC) for our annual fly-in and lobby days in Washington, D.C. During our trip, the group attended more than 50 meetings with Members of Congress and staff. In each meeting, we outlined our main priorities, which range from investing in our nation’s infrastructure to supporting our bi-national economy with Canada. A full list of the priorities we discussed in each meeting can be found here.
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.
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.
On Wednesday, February 22, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s Development Advisory Council hosted officials from the City of Buffalo for an informational forum on the recently approved Green Code zoning legislation. This forum focused upon the new approvals processes that projects within the City must navigate under the code. It featured presentations from staff from the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning as well as the City’s implementation consulting team.
The Buffalo Niagara region is undergoing an economic revitalization, however the future success of new construction projects and redevelopment is not guaranteed. Disjointed development policies and overly-burdensome regulations, often unique to Buffalo and New York State, create a challenging environment for projects to move forward. To build upon our momentum and truly achieve new growth, policies impacting local development must be aligned to achieve the prosperous future envisioned for Buffalo Niagara.
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.
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.
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.
The debate over President Trump’s Executive Order on immigration has put the possibility of implementing biometric tests at Buffalo Niagara’s international border crossings back in the news. The President’s Executive Order calls for the expedited completion of the Biometric Entry-Exit Tracking System. While the collection of biometric information – fingerprints, facial images, and iris scans – was first discussed post-September 11th as a way to collect more information on foreign travelers, it wasn’t until 2004 that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) began collecting this information at select ports of entry. As recently as September 2016, DHS stated its goal to introduce fingerprint scanning at 20 of the busiest airports by 2018.