Unshackle Upstate Comments on the 2012 Legislative Session
Statement attributable to Brian Sampson, Unshackle Upstate executive director.
“With the 2012 legislative session now complete, Unshackle Upstate sees it as another step forward toward efforts to strengthen New York’s economy and our communities.
Again, the governor and Legislature are to be commended for their efforts to restore the state’s fiscal credibility by enacting an on-time state budget that closed the state’s deficit without increasing taxes or fees. The state, local governments and school districts will benefit from the Tier VI pension reforms enacted earlier this session.
We are pleased the Senate stood firm against the proposal to increase and index the state’s minimum wage, and that no legislation that would have driven up the cost of health care passed both houses. We are also gratified that the Legislature did not take steps to expand the application of the state’s prevailing wage laws, which drive up taxes without providing greater value to taxpayers.
However, if we want communities and our state’s tax base to grow, the governor and Legislature must take bold steps to overcome some long-standing challenges that we face. These include reducing unfunded mandates on local governments and school districts, and enabling private sector job growth by providing relief for business from unnecessary and burdensome regulatory mandates.
Unshackle Upstate will now turn our attention to our legislative scorecards, which will help the public identify those state legislators who have acted in the best interests of New York's taxpayers and business owners, as well as those who have failed to do so. The elections this year will be the first step in addressing the unfinished business from this session”
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Unshackle Upstate is a non-partisan, pro-taxpayer, pro-economic growth, education and advocacy coalition made up of business and trade organizations from all parts of Upstate New York. The coalition's website, www.unshackleupstate.com, allows citizens to join the Unshackle Army and send messages to elected officials in Albany. Connect with Unshackle Upstate on Twitter: www.twitter.com/unshacklenyand Facebook: www.facebook.com/unshackleupstate.