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For Release — Friday, November 4, 2005

FIVE BUSINESS GROUPS JOIN STOP THE AMENDMENT

ALBANY—Five 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 Amherst Chamber of Commerce; the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce; the Greater East Aurora Chamber of Commerce; the Marcy Chamber of Commerce; and the Niagara USA Chamber of Commerce.

"Today's new members brings the coalition total to 40 groups," said Daniel B. Walsh, president and CEO of The Business Council. "Those groups represent New Yorkers from every single region of this state who are saying 'no' to this legislative power grab. This sends a message to lawmakers: Give us real reform or work within the current system but don't try to pull the wool over our eyes."

"The Niagara region's business community is staunchly opposed to Proposal One because we know the last thing western New York needs is more out of control government spending, higher taxes, and growing debt," said Thomas J. Krauss, president of the Niagara USA Chamber of Commerce. "With this region already facing significant new challenges driven by a declining population and tax base, voters should be especially concerned about giving even more power to a state government that already spends and taxes too much."

“Contrary to what many people think, Proposal One does not require that the Legislature pass an on-time budget”, said Laura Zaepfel, chairperson of the Amherst Chamber's advocacy council. "This amendment will result in higher state spending, higher taxes and less accountability."

"This proposed amendment is a quick fix, not a solution. What the residents and business owners of New York State need is the Legislature to stop spending and finalize the state budget on time," said Mary Beth Silano, executive director of the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce. "This proposed reform only makes matters worse for New York—higher taxes and deeper in debt. Vote No on Proposal One on November 8th."

"The Runaway Spending Amendment is another example of the New York State legislature not working in the best interest of the businesses and people of the State of New York that it is supposed to be representing," said Gary Grote, executive director of the Greater East Aurora Chamber of Commerce. "The Greater East Aurora Chamber of Commerce encourages voters to oppose Proposition 1 on Election Day."

"We need less government not more; we need to shorten the leash on the legislators not lengthen it," said Carl Annese, president of the Marcy Chamber of Commerce. "Let businesses prosper and grow with less restraints. This would let the economy grow from the side of the business sector and provide a better economy and strengthen New York State for all."

Other coalition members include: