In my column last week, I shared an important report from the State Budget Crisis Task Force that discussed the fiscal challenges facing state and local governments largely driven by the explosive growth of Medicaid spending, unfunded mandates and underfunded public pension liabilities, among other factors. I also mentioned a recent increase in New York’s unemployment rate to 8.9 percent and said Albany must adopt a proactive stance to reduce unemployment and get our economy moving again. This focus on being proactive rather than reactive has been – and continues to be – my approach as your Assemblyman and as a Legislative Leader.
GROW NEW YORK’S ECONOMY TO CREATE MORE JOBS
The “cure” for unemployment is growing our economy, which will increase opportunity and prosperity for everyone. A rising tide of economic growth will lift all boats, from Fortune 500 companies on Wall Street, to the mom-and-pop businesses on Main Street. Growth is good and New York needs economic growth to create more jobs and a stronger private sector.
My belief that we can improve New York’s economy is fueled by 20-plus years of proven, practical experience leading and building private sector businesses from the ground up. I believe in New York, believe in the skill and commitment of our workforce, and believe in the creativity and ingenuity of job creators. We don’t have to accept an 8.9 percent unemployment rate. My goal is to build an “innovation economy” where every New Yorker who wants a job has a job, so people can work hard, provide for their families and achieve their dreams.
GET BACK TO WHERE NEW YORK ONCE BELONGED: PRO-GROWTH POLICIES TO FUEL AN ECONOMIC COMEBACK!
Here are some smart solutions that state government could adopt today to help create an environment for more jobs, a stronger private sector and more opportunity and prosperity for everyone. These solutions are non-partisan in nature and focus on making our economy more competitive and productive by breaking down barriers and assisting businesses.
- Rescind the “Unemployment Tax” on Small Businesses: Once again, Albany is forcing small businesses to pay an unemployment tax – technically, the “Unemployment Insurance Interest Assessment Surcharge” – which drives up costs for job creators. State government should rescind this unemployment tax so small-business owners can focus on hiring more workers and expanding their operations;
- Stop the Proposed 45% Thruway Toll Hike: A proposed 45 percent Thruway toll hike would hurt trucking companies by raising their costs of doing business and could force many trucking businesses to either lay-off workers or leave New York altogether. Putting the brakes on the proposed Thruway toll hike will save businesses and consumers millions and help keep jobs here in the Empire State;
- Ban all New State Regulations, Suspend Current Regulations: Albany’s outdated rules, regulations and ridiculous red tape cost job creators billions, kill jobs and stifle our innovation economy. Banning all new State regulations and suspending current ones unrelated to health and safety would free businesses from Albany’s paperwork hassles and immediately increase our economic competitiveness;
- Deliver Real Tax and Mandate Relief: Even with the property tax cap we enacted last year, and the Medicaid mandate relief we approved this session, taxes in New York are still among the nation’s highest and our unfunded mandates – State requirements that localities provide a service or start a program with zero support from Albany – drive up local taxes. Making the 2011 Middle Class Tax Cut permanent and banning any new unfunded mandates from Albany would make New York more affordable and economically competitive; and
- Enact My “GrowNY” Agenda: I have introduced several legislative initiatives as part of my “GrowNY” agenda for more jobs, right now. From providing technical assistance to small businesses, to offering targeted tax incentives to companies that hire the unemployed, to encouraging the retention of high-tech employees, my GrowNY agenda would provide much-needed support for businesses and workers.
TURNING A CHALLENGE INTO OPPORTUNITY
While New York’s unemployment situation poses a challenge, it also provides an opportunity for Albany to take action and adopt policies such as ones listed above that will reduce the number of jobless New Yorkers by growing our private sector, along with creating more jobs, opportunity and prosperity. We can turn this latest challenge into an opportunity by moving forward with smart solutions that make our economy work for all New Yorkers.
NEXT WEEK: Have your say on how we can make New York more affordable!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.