Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications

For Release — Wednesday, November 2, 2005


ALBANY—Six 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 united in 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 Camden Area Chamber of Commerce; the Geneva Area Chamber of Commerce; the Guilderland Chamber of Commerce; the Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce; the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce; and the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce.

"We recognize the need to improve the budget process in New York state, but this 'reform' would probably make things worse," said Robert Gladden, president and CEO of the Geneva Area Chamber of Commerce. "The balance between the branches of government needs to be retained if we are ever to hope for a responsible process."

"Proposal 1 simply stated is akin to offering a blank check to our legislature" said Jane Schramm, executive director of the Guilderland Chamber of Commerce. "Budget reform is undoubtedly an enormous continual challenge to our state but the solution this election year is not within Proposal 1 where the language is vague, its full impact is not yet recognizable and appears to make the legislature free of numerous important fiscal restraints."

“We join the coalition in sending a loud and clear message; We are paying attention and we are opposed to Proposal One," said Debra Malaney, executive director of the Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce. "New York’s budget process must remain controlled—any changes to the constitutional amendment must be carefully considered; not railroaded through for convenience or posturing. This proposal doesn’t help us, it worsens our burden. As citizens, that this proposal even exists disappoints us.”

"The proposed amendment would result in increased spending which equals higher taxes and is something that the Warwick Valley Chamber strongly opposes," said Linda Glohs, the executive director of the Warwick Valley Chamber. "We cannot adequately represent small business owners and still support a proposal of this type."

"The Wyoming County Chamber Board of Directors acted swiftly to encourage our members to oppose the Runaway Spending Amendment, after a representative from the Business Council presented us with the sobering facts about Proposal One," said James Pierce, the executive director of the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce.

The coalition, which includes 35 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: