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Zack Hutchins
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For Release — Monday, November 30, 1998

UPSTATE BUSINESS GROUPS URGE LAWMAKERS TO PASS BUSINESS COUNCIL'S 'UPSTATE AGENDA FOR GROWTH'

ALBANY — Chambers of commerce and other business groups from Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, and Schenectady today urged lawmakers to enact an "Upstate Agenda for Growth" proposed by The Business Council.

At a press conference at the state Capitol, Daniel B. Walsh, president of The Business Council was joined by representatives of the Greater Buffalo Partnership, the Rochester Metro Chamber of Commerce, the Fulton County Chamber of Commerce, the Schenectady Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Rensselaer County Chamber of Commerce, and the Albany-Colonie Chamber of Commerce.

"The Upstate Agenda is a message of hope, not of gloom and doom," Business Council President Daniel B. Walsh said. "In the last four years, New York has cut taxes, reformed regulations, reduced costs of workers' comp and unemployment insurance—all winning moves that are paying off in new growth both upstate and downstate."

"But there's more to be done, and employment statistics that consistently show upstate lagging behind the rest of the economy should give lawmakers special motivation to act quickly and decisively on this agenda," he added.

The Upstate Agenda is a package of proposals designed to address issues at the core of New York's problems competing with other states in attracting new jobs and retaining existing jobs.

Specifically, the proposals are designed to reduce energy costs, accelerate existing tax cuts, enhance workforce development, repeal mandates in order to lower property taxes, pre-approve potential business sites, and promote New York's economic progress to businesses and economic development professionals both inside and outside New York State.

The Upstate Agenda is motivated by a sense of opportunity created by positive changes Gov. Pataki and the Legislature have made in recent years-changes that are paying off upstate and statewide, Walsh said.

In addition to the groups expected to participate in today's press conference, the Upstate Agenda has been endorsed by business groups from across the state, including: the Niagara Falls Chamber of Commerce; the Niagara Business Alliance; the Broome County Chamber of Commerce; the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce; the Plattsburgh Chamber of Commerce; the Fulton County Chamber of Commerce; the Orange County Chamber of Commerce; the Livingston County Chamber of Commerce; the Genessee County Chamber of Commerce; the Poughkeepsie Chamber of Commerce; and the Manufacturers' Association of the Jamestown Area.

The Upstate Agenda would:

Other business priorities, such as tort reform and broader tax cuts, will remain atop The Council's agenda for the 1999 session.

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