Ritchie Applauds Governor’s Call For Attracting Good Jobs, Continued Economic Growth
State Senator Patty Ritchie is applauding Governor Andrew Cuomo’s call for building on the progress of the past two years to create more jobs and continue economic growth, following Wednesday’s State of the State address in Albany.
“In 2013, my focus is jobs, and I was thrilled to hear that Governor Cuomo is making that one of his priorities as well,” said Senator Ritchie.
“We have made some great strides recently when it comes to getting our state’s economy back on track, but there’s a lot more we can do. I’m eager to get to work and continue to collaborate with the Governor and my fellow colleagues in an effort to put more New Yorkers back to work.”
In his address, the Governor also laid out plans to focus on Upstate Economic Development, with “Market NY,” a new multifaceted marketing plan to bolster Upstate growth.
“I’m excited to join with the Governor in promoting products that are unique to New York – specifically, Upstate New York,” said Senator Ritchie, who chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee.
“Farming is the cornerstone of our state’s economy and anything we can do to help grow this industry and support our hardworking farmers will certainly benefit our state as a whole.”
For full details on the Governor’s agenda for 2013, visit www.ritchie.nysenate.gov
Barclay: Focus on Creating Jobs
Assemblyman Will Barclay (R,C,I-Pulaski) released the following statement today following the Governor’s State of the State address.
I was happy to hear the Governor talk about Upstate New York, and hopeful the plans he mentioned today will translate into high-paying jobs for our region.
Apart from the Governor’s plans for the economy, this agenda contained a lot of proposals that need close examination – particularly on minimum wage, campaign finance, gun control, and education.
I want to be careful we don’t just pass laws that are part of an ambitious agenda rather than laws we truly need for our state.
Our state needs to become more affordable for our families.
We need jobs. Lower taxes and providing mandate relief are essential in order to accomplish this.
I was glad to hear there is no new tax hikes planned again this year.
I will continue to work to reduce regulations that stifle small businesses and restrict job creation and economic growth this legislative year.
Assemblyman Bob Oaks’ Response to Gov. Cuomo’s 2013 State of the State Address
Governor Cuomo highlighted several ambitious program ideas in today’s State of the State address.
We need to wait for his budget proposal, which will be unveiled in less than two weeks, to see how he intends to pay for these initiatives, especially with an anticipated $1-billion deficit.
On a positive note, Gov. Cuomo said he will be proposing no new taxes in 2013.
In addition, he is proposing to make changes to the Unemployment Insurance program and the Workers’ Compensation system that will lower costs to employers. Each would help the business climate in New York State.
He also talked about initiatives to improve the economy and create more high paying jobs upstate.
I agree with Gov. Cuomo that 2013 will be a challenging year and we have much work to do.
I stand ready to partner with the Governor and my colleagues in the legislature to make 2013 a landmark year by passing a budget and key legislation that will make it more affordable to live and work in Upstate New York.
Statement by New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento on Governor Cuomo’s State of the State Address
Governor Cuomo’s commitment to boosting the state’s stagnant unemployment benefit is welcome news to working men and women throughout the state.
We commend him for recognizing this long term inequity and for his passionate call to address it this session.
The Labor Movement has been fighting for an increase in benefits and a long-term solution for far too long – thirteen years, and look forward to working with the Governor and the Legislature to finally give unemployed workers the help they need to support their families, stay in their homes, and most importantly find new employment.
We are also pleased that the Governor continues to make raising the minimum wage a priority in his ambitious agenda.
I know that working together with the Governor and the Legislature we can get it done.
Along with creating good jobs throughout the state and generating much needed revenue, these are real investments in growing and strengthening the middle class, and in turn the state’s economy.
I have great optimism that this legislative session will mean real positive change for working families.
Common Cause/NY Statement on Governor Cuomo’s State of the State Address
Today Governor Cuomo proposed a robust package of campaign finance and elections administration reforms which will comprehensively improve the democratic process in New York State. Common Cause/NY is very pleased that the Governor’s priorities for the coming year include a Fair Elections system of small donor matching funds, early voting, and broader campaign finance disclosure requirements, including for C4 entities and Independent Expenditures.
These proposed reforms represent the Governor’s committment to a better brand of politics which New Yorkers so desperately deserve. Common Cause/NY looks forward to fighting with our colleagues in the Fair Elections Coalition and the NY State Voter Coalition in support of the Governor’s efforts.
Campaign Finance Reform
As Common Cause/NY has long maintained, public financing of elections is key to any campaign finance reform. The New York City model has produced more competitive elections, and allowed demographically diverse candidates to win public office despite their resources. In contrast, the rest of the state suffers under outrageously high contribution limits and resulting high rates of incumbency. We must reduce the influence of money in politics in order to restore the public trust and encourage first time candidates to run for office. Similarly, the Governor’s aggressive proposal to close loopholes in the law which allow C4 entities and Independent Expenditures to operate in the shadows is essential to achieving comprehensive reform.
Early voting is a proven success. More than half the country votes early, and there’s no reason New Yorkers can’t do the same. It’s a safe, efficient, and sensible solution to the much reported mayhem which can occur on Election Day. The need is even more apparent after Hurricane Sandy when the Board of Elections in the affected counties scrambled to assist thousands of displaced voters, many of whom were not able to execute their constitutional right to vote.
Common Cause/NY is part of the coalition for Fair Election in New York State. The campaign for Fair Elections is focused on four key goals:
Public Financing of Elections – establishing a voluntary system to empower small donors by matching their contributions with public money, similar to NYC’s successful system.
Lower Contribution Limits – bringing New York State’s sky-high contribution limits down to reasonable levels.
Ending Pay-to-Play – saving public dollars by preventing contributions and bundling by contractors and lobbyists from influencing decisions about state business.
Stronger Enforcement and Transparency – ensuring that our laws are enforced in a fair, effective and timely manner.
Cuomo Commits to Cutting Climate Pollution
Statement from Rob Moore, Executive Director, Environmental Advocates of New York
ALBANY, NY – “Just weeks after communities were ravaged by Superstorm Sandy – the third massive and deadly storm in just over 12 months – Governor Cuomo showed true leadership by speaking up on the need to fight climate change. In his State of the State address, the governor committed to lowering emissions of climate-altering pollution from power plants.
Governor Cuomo was right when he said ‘we need to act, not simply react.’ Cutting climate pollution below existing levels is the only way to fight climate change.
The governor highlighted the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative as one of the ways his administration will act, pushing for a more aggressive cap on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. The existing nine-state cap is set at 165 million tons of carbon dioxide, well above actual emissions.
Today, the governor committed to lowering the cap to align with the current emission level of 91 million tons. This cap will ratchet down further in the coming years.
Environmental Advocates of New York applauds this announcement, which burnishes New York’s position as a national leader on the environment and climate change.”
Environmental Advocates of New York’s mission is to protect our air, land, water and wildlife and the health of all New Yorkers.
Based in Albany, we monitor state government, evaluate proposed laws and champion policies and practices that will ensure the responsible stewardship of our shared environment. We work to support and strengthen the efforts of New York’s environmental community and to make our state a national leader. The tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization is also the New York State affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation. Visit www.eany.org for more information.
Business Council Statement on Governor Cuomo’s State of the State Address
ALBANY, NY – We are pleased that Governor Cuomo’s 2013 State of the State message extends his commitment to restraining state spending and avoiding new or increased broad-based taxes. New York is in a stronger position today due to the enactment of critical reforms backed by The Business Council, including a 2 percent cap on the growth of property taxes; pension reforms; a new, permanent economic development low-cost power program and a fiscally responsible state budget.
We also applaud the Governor’s focus on improving the performance of the state’s education and workforce development programs to assure that we have the skilled workforce necessary to support future economic progress. He also proposes important unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation program reforms designed to provide across-the-board savings for business.
Recognizing both the economic challenges and opportunities facing New York, and in particular upstate New York, he has proposed several innovative approaches to supporting new business growth. We look forward to reviewing the details of his economic development proposals.
However, we have concerns regarding several initiatives announced today that could impose new costs or new barriers on business. These include: significant new energy initiatives funded, at least in part, through increased rates or assessments, new “pay equity”-related enforcement mechanisms, an increased state minimum wage; tighter regional carbon emission limits that will increase energy costs on consumers; and others.
As we start a new year and new legislative session, The Business Council looks forward to seeing the details on the Governor’s proposals and continuing our strong working relationships with the Governor, the Senate and the Assembly.
Heather Briccetti, President and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc.
Statement by NYSEDC Executive Director Brian McMahon on Governor Cuomo’s State of the State address
Governor Cuomo’s 2013 State of the State address provides an aggressive, realistic, and innovative blueprint for moving New York’s economy forward.
The Governor is proposing to hold the line on spending, taxes and fees for the third consecutive year, while investing in technology sectors and workforce development.
Governor Cuomo knows something that Washington doesn’t know: When you have a spending problem, you should stop spending. For too long, New York has spent, taxed, and borrowed beyond its means. The result has been five decades of economic decline for much of the state.
Also, by focusing the state’s economic development efforts on technology clusters and commercializing university R&D, Governor Cuomo is building on New York’s culture and history of innovation and advanced manufacturing. Tax-free innovation “Hot Spots” and the proposed $50 million Innovation Venture Capital Fund will help catalyze the invention-to-production process in regions throughout New York State.
And, Governor Cuomo understands that the key ingredient to growing targeted technology sectors is a world class workforce that has the skills to meet the job requirements demanded by high tech businesses. The Next Generation Job Linkage Program is an important step in closing the skills gap that exists between the current workforce and available jobs, especially in manufacturing.
Finally, we are disappointed the Governor made no mention of either shale gas development or local government mandate relief. Both are priorities for improving economic development opportunities for New Yorkers.
NYWCA Hails Governor Cuomo’s Actions On Workers’ Compensation
New York, NY – Jan. 9, 2013 — The New York Workers’ Compensation Alliance, a coalition of injured workers and those committed to protecting the rights of injured workers, today praised actions to streamline the Workers’ Compensation system outlined by Governor Andrew Cuomo in his State of the State address.
In particular, NYWCA hailed Cuomo’s call to close the 25-a Fund, or Reopened Case Fund, which has been an agenda item for NYWCA for several years. Eliminating this fund will reduce assessments on employers by 25 percent.
“We are very pleased that the Governor’s agenda includes closing the Reopened Case Fund, which would reduce workers’ compensation assessments for New York employers by 25 percent, in addition to the more than 50 percent reduction that will ultimately be achieved through the previous closure of the Second Injury Fund,” said Robert Grey, Chairman of NYWCA. “This has long been an agenda item of the WCA because we want appropriate benefits for injured workers at the lowest cost to employers, and closing these Special Funds will reduce assessments on employers by nearly 80 percent.”
Grey said: “This move will especially benefit employers with good safety and health programs. The Governor’s commendable proposal will save money for responsible employers while continuing to deliver benefits to injured workers.”
NYWCA recently released a report revealing that workers’ compensation costs in New York State have declined dramatically in the past two decades and that workers’ compensation is also a declining portion of overall employer costs. The report shows that workers’ compensation reforms in 2007, combined with other administrative and regulatory initiatives, reduced worker access to benefits while also reducing claim costs. The report shows that costs have actually declined by a full 30 percent during the past 18 years.
The report also demonstrates that the cost of workers’ compensation is comparable to similarly situated states, such as Connecticut, California, Illinois and New Jersey, and that costs could be even lower if insurance companies were required to be transparent and verify the projected costs that they use to justify rate increases. At present, insurance carriers submit unaudited “projected cost increases” as a basis for premium increases that unfairly impact employers.
The NYWCA report — which features raw data and charts from the New York Compensation Insurance Rating Board, the National Council on Compensation Insurance and the NYS Department of Labor, among other sources — demonstrates that workers’ compensation employer costs, as a percentage of total compensation, have dropped from 1.6 percent in 2001 to 1.5 percent in 2011.