Time To Get New York Working Again!

Legislative column from Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,I,C-Canandaigua)
July 8, 2011

Now that the 2011 Legislative Session has concluded, state legislators need to apply a laser-like focus toward jumpstarting New York’s economy and creating the hundreds of thousands of jobs our state needs to get people back to work. Doing so will restore the Empire State to its former status as a national leader in economic development, entrepreneurship and innovation.

My professional background in starting, running and building successful private companies – especially in the ultra-competitive manufacturing sector – has shaped the non-partisan legislative agenda I am promoting. My agenda has one goal and one goal only: making New York the jobs state. So expect to hear these three words for the next several months – “jobs, jobs, jobs” – as they represent the public policy agenda I will continue pushing Albany to pursue.


Many policymakers in state government seem to forget that New York has one of the best-educated, hardest-working, most productive workforces in the nation. If we remove bureaucratic barriers, New York’s workforce can compete – and win – against any state, any nation, in the entire world. Harnessing the creative capital of New Yorkers, clearing government regulatory roadblocks, and enacting pro-growth economic policies, all are keys to unleashing the true economic and job-creating potential of our Empire State. All of this can happen, and will happen, IF we listen to New York’s business community and workforce and respond by giving them the tools they need to succeed. I have been listening!


New York’s unemployment rate for May 2011, which is the most current data available for analysis, stood at 7.9 percent, with a reported 752,100 individuals classified as unemployed. Getting this many New Yorkers back to work begins, and ends, with creating more private sector jobs, promoting regional economic development and encouraging the entrepreneurial spirit of our citizens.

The Microsoft Corporation, first started in a garage, has steadily grown into an international economic sensation and a recognized global leader in computer software. Similarly, the next “big thing,” the next game-changing high-tech start-up already could be in the works right here in New York State. We can make it so by removing regulatory barriers to job creation and enacting public policies that actually encourage entrepreneurship, risk-taking and investment.


There are several proactive policies our state can enact to get the economy back on track and become the engine of job creation, innovation and entrepreneurship that New York used to be just a few decades ago. Here are some of the pro-growth, pro-economic development policies that I have advocated to fix our economy and transform New York:

  • No new taxes, this includes fees, assessments, surcharges or any “revenue enhancers,” which are tax hikes by another name. Tax hikes destroy jobs;
  • Stop any new unfunded mandates imposed by Albany that drive up costs for businesses, local governments or taxpayers;
  • Move forward with the Governor’s Regional Economic Development Councils and have them immediately begin working to attract domestic and international investments to New York from private sector companies and promote regional economic development projects;
  • Continue shrinking the size and cost of the state bureaucracy and make State Agencies more responsive and attuned to the needs of job creators;
  • Cap state spending so Albany lives within its means and stops wasting taxpayer dollars;
  • Invest in manufacturing by forging new private-public partnerships between private sector businesses and our educational and vocational institutions such as SUNY and BOCES, while offering targeted tax incentives to manufacturing businesses for each new person they hire;
  • Streamline the state’s bureaucratic rules, remove regulatory burdens on job creators, and help businesses cut through government red tape on everything from grant applications, facility siting and environmental review; and
  • Have every agency, every department, every entity of state government send a clear and consistent message: New York State is open for, and wants, your business, and is a terrific place to start a new business or expand an existing business.

These are just a few of the many public policies I am advancing as legislation, and will continue developing, to get New York’s economy back on track and create more jobs. Putting people back to work and growing our economy are not luxuries – they are absolute necessities. For too long we have accepted the false premise that New York State is the wrong place to invest and create jobs. I believe it is time to re-write that script and for the Empire State to once again control its own economic destiny. Let’s get New York working again!

As always, constituents wishing to discuss this topic or any other state-related matter should contact my district office at (315) 781-2030, or e-mail me at kolbb@assembly.state.ny.us.