Buffalo Niagara Partnership President & CEO Dottie Gallagher penned an editorial for the Hamilton Spectator that reiterated our organization’s ardent opposition to any policy that threatens our relationship with Canada. The piece solicited positive feedback from both sides of the border and garnered the attention of many readers who want to maintain and grow our relationship with Canada.
Congress and President Trump came together this summer to address a critical component of workforce development and in the process helped the Partnership check off one of our Advocacy Agenda priorities. In late July, the President signed into law a significant update the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act.
Both employers and their employees will be paying more for healthcare unless Congress pumps the breaks on the Health Insurance Tax (HIT). Imposed by the Affordable Care Act, the HIT is set to go into effect for 2019 unless Congress agrees to delay it through 2020.
Changes to New York State’s workers’ compensation program are expected to save employers upwards of $1 billion moving forward. The New York State Department of Financial Services recently approved a nearly 12 percent reduction in loss cost rates – a key component of determining insurance premiums. This significant reduction is a direct result of critical workers’ compensation reform included in last year’s state budget.
Our 2017-2018 Annual Report was recently released at a meeting of more than 200 people including our Board of Directors and members, along with community leaders.
It’s no secret – New York’s power grid is old. Over 80% of New York’s high-voltage transmission lines went into service before 1980. As outlined in our 2018 Advocacy Agenda, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership supports upgrading New York’s aging power grid and investing in energy infrastructure to help meet our economic goals. As the economic landscape of the Buffalo Niagara region continues to evolve, the importance of affordable, reliable energy remains a constant necessity – which depends, in large part, on the state of our energy grid.
There are a lot of eyes and ears focused on the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) currently ongoing between the United States, Canada and Mexico. Understanding what is at stake, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership called for strengthening our bi-national economy through a NAFTA renegotiation in our 2018 Advocacy Agenda. While the 20-plus year agreement needs modernizing, we are advocating for a ‘do no harm’ approach to protect the vital economic ties between Canada and the U.S. Members of the Partnership’s Manufacturing Council recently met with Canadian government leaders to discuss the value NAFTA brings to our regional economy.
The goal of protecting the Great Lakes and spurring economic development in the communities that surround them took a big step forward with the new federal spending bill. The measure addresses several key advocacy priorities of the Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition. The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is a founding member of the GLMCC and I recently traveled to Washington, DC with the group to push for action on many of these issues.
It’s a wrap on another year of state budget negotiations with the Governor and State Legislature reaching agreement before the April 1 deadline.
New York State is home to some of the highest construction costs in the country. The state’s prevailing wage and scaffold laws are two reasons why. That is why the Buffalo Niagara Partnership calls for Scaffold Law reform and opposition to the expansion of prevailing wage in our 2018 Advocacy Agenda.