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Buffalo Niagara Partnership focusing on unemployment insurance costs, energy plan

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (The Buffalo News) — The Buffalo Niagara Partnership has laid out its legislative priorities for the coming year, emphasizing pushing back against higher unemployment insurance costs for employers, and the consequences of an overhaul of the state’s energy strategy.

The Partnership unveiled its agenda Thursday, after Gov. Kathy Hochul delivered her State of the State address earlier this week, putting forward her own agenda.

A key issue of concern to the Partnership: higher costs for unemployment insurance that employers are absorbing, in the wake of the billions of dollars that the state borrowed from the federal government to cover the cost of jobless claims that soared during the pandemic.

“New York is one of the few states that hasn’t actually used the federal stimulus money to pay down what they used during the pandemic, and now employers are paying that cost,” said Dottie Gallagher, the Partnership’s president and CEO.

“Employers are getting bills they didn’t expect for unemployment insurance, and it’s really troublesome,” she said.

The Partnership is also raising concerns about the Climate Action Council’s proposals for overhauling the state’s energy usage in coming years, with a shift toward electrification and away from fuels such as natural gas. The business group is advocating for an “all-of-the-above” approach that includes fuels such as natural gas, as well renewables, to fight climate change.

Read more here.

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