Working with our partners at Unshackle Upstate and other regional chambers of commerce, we were able to successfully remove the ‘Buy American’ provision from the adopted state budget.
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 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.