For Release — December 23, 2009
A New Year's Resolution for Albany Lawmakers
ALBANY— Over 850,000 New Yorkers need jobs this holiday season. So when it comes to making New Year's resolutions, Albany lawmakers should agree to put job creation on the top of their list.
They must resolve to make it easier for employers to create jobs for tens of thousands of unemployed and under-employed New Yorkers in 2010 by judging every legislative proposal that comes across their desks -- especially next year's state budget – with one question: will it lead to private sector job growth?
In recent weeks, the State Legislature fought to maintain increases in state funding for education and health care programs, arguing that Governor David Paterson's plan to cut the deficit went too far. The trouble is the money they want for those programs just isn't there. State tax revenues have fallen off a cliff.
Lost in the arguments about maintaining state school aid and Medicaid during a historic economic downtown, legislators seemed to forget that what we really need in New York right now is economic growth and private-sector jobs.
It's time to ask Albany to turn to a proactive job creation agenda for 2010 based on advancing policies to spark private sector job growth and economic recovery across our state.
Here are five rules to live by next year – New Year's resolutions for economic recovery in 2010:
- Reduce state spending – New York's budget deficit for the coming year is approaching $10 billion. State government has to reduce spending and live within its means, and cope like the rest of us. There is no choice but to finally put the brakes on runaway state spending and borrowing. Programs will have to be cut, and we'll have to find more efficient ways to deliver critical services.
- No new taxes or fees – Our economy in New York is already among the highest taxed in the nation: it cannot tolerate increased taxes or fees and also produce the new jobs we need at the same time.
- Oppose barriers to job creation – From unrealistic wage mandates to onerous new benefits requirements, New York is likely to face an array of proposed barriers to job creation in 2010. After losing over 200,000 jobs in 2009, do we want to make new job creation that much harder in 2010?
- Reduce local property taxes – New York has the highest property taxes in the country, suffocating small businesses and residents alike; we must reduce property taxes in order to create jobs, attract new investment, maintain our population and grow our way out of the recession.
- Support policies that create jobs – Targeted economic development programs can stimulate job growth in New York, especially in innovation sectors, while programs such as Power for Jobs help retain high-paying manufacturing jobs.
It's been said that we should celebrate the New Year as “another chance for us to get it right.” Let's hope that “getting it right” in Albany in 2010 means spending within our means, reigning in taxes and generating economic growth and jobs all across New York State.