Back to Home

Government Affairs Albany Update

May 24, 2002

Governor and Quebec Prime Minister Sign Understanding

On May 22 New York Governor George Pataki and Quebec Prime Minister Bernard Landry signed a memorandum of understanding outlining the workings of a new cross-border partnership. The efforts are aimed at strengthening the cooperation between the two counties and enhancing the $7 billion in trade between Quebec and New York. The cross-border partnership will help develop the infrastructure of the corridor that stretches from Quebec and Plattsburgh down through the Hudson Valley. The agreement paves the way for more formal workings of the "Quebec-New York Corridor" coalition that was created in January by the Plattsburgh-North Country and Quebec Chambers of Commerce. A coordinating council that will meet yearly will be established to help guide the efforts of this group. Other councils and committees dealing with specific issues such as transportation and economic development will also be developed. Each year a summit featuring business and government will be sponsored by the Coordinating Council. At the conference the Governor also announced a series of initiatives to help rail, truck and passenger traffic through the border. Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas has been a leader on the New York State side of the efforts and hopes the memorandum will facilitate greater trade, transportation infrastructure and a forum for addressing issues of importance between the two countries. For more information on the Quebec-New York Corridor or the border and trade issue contact Garry Douglas at the Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce at (518)563-1000.

Minimum Wage Activity

S.4749-A (Spano), which would increase the state minimum wage from the current state and federal minimum wage of $5.15/hr. to $6.75/hr. on 1/1/03, and provide an automatic annual escalator, was reported from the Senate Labor Committee to the Rules Committee on May 14, 2002. The Business Council is joining with several other employer trade organizations in providing information to legislators on the impact of this proposal to businesses in New York State.