For Release — Wednesday, October 26, 2005
FOUR BUSINESS GROUPS JOIN STOP THE AMENDMENT
ALBANY—Four New York business associations have joined Stop the Amendment, the coalition of think tanks, fiscal-policy experts, good-government groups, former state budget officials, and business groups chaired by former Governor Hugh Carey. The coalition is united in its opposition to a proposed constitutional amendment that would radically change New York’s budget-making process.
The business groups that have joined the coalition include the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce; Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce; the Chamber of Southern Saratoga County; and the Orange County Chamber of Commerce.
“We are disheartened that lawmakers would see this as reform when in fact, Proposal One would make the budget problems in the state worse; and are appalled they believe voters would actually approve this," said Pam Lydic, president of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce. "Our chamber is doing everything we can to make sure business and residents in Chautauqua County know what the negative ramifications would be and to vote ‘no’ to Proposal One.”
"We're proud to be joining this coalition," said Alex. S. DePersis, president and CEO of the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce. "Spending needs to be controlled in New York, and the budget needs to be reformed, but this is not the reform New York needs. This amendment would drive spending and taxes even higher, make our debt burden worse, make budget gaps even worse and more frequent, and guarantee late budgets. That's not what New York needs."
“What the citizens and businesses in this state want is substantive budget reform that will produce a budget on time and consistent with the revenues and needs of this state,” said John A. D’Ambrosio, president of the Orange County Chamber of Commerce. "Unfortunately, this proposal will not bring about the necessary changes and, in reality, will worsen an already dysfunctional process.”
"Although we commend the Legislature for their commitment to reform the budget process, this proposal does not address real budget reform and will result in unbridled spending," said Peter Aust, president and CEO of the Chamber of Southern Saratoga County. "A 'no' vote will send a strong message that taxpayers want real reforms and not power struggles."
The coalition, which includes 19 groups, is conducting a variety of outreach activities designed to share with New York’s voters and taxpayers broad concerns about the amendment and how it would change New York’s budgeting process.
Other coalition members include:
- Gerald Benjamin, a distinguished professor and dean of liberal arts and sciences at the State University of New York at New Paltz.
- R. Wayne Diesel, a state budget director under former Governor Mario M. Cuomo.
- Dall Forsythe, a state budget director under former Governor Mario M. Cuomo.
- Edmund J. McMahon Jr., director of the Manhattan Institute's Empire Center.
- The Business Council of New York State.
- The Citizens’ Budget Commission.
- The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce.
- The National Federation of Independent Business.
- The Manufacturers Association of Central New York.
- The Business Council of Westchester.
- The Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce.
- The Mohawk Valley Chamber of Commerce.
- The Orchard Park Chamber of Commerce.
- The Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber.
- The Otsego County Chamber.