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For Release — February 14, 2011

Business Council urges legislature to support fiscal restraint

ALBANY—“The best economic development program to create jobs in New York is to create a better business climate,” said Heather Briccetti, acting-president & CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc. “Gov. Cuomo's budget starts that process with structural reforms to reduce state spending, hold the line on taxes now and allow for tax relief in the future.”

Briccetti made the comments in testimony before the Senate Finance Committee and Assembly Ways and Means Committee.

“We need to adopt a no-growth budget, and avoid adding spending and taxes that are simply unaffordable for both the state's economic, business sector and its residents. Importantly, our response to the state's ongoing fiscal crisis can also result in more efficient, more effective governmental agencies and programs,” added Briccetti. “Excessive spending growth coupled with a continuing economic downturn has resulted in massive, multi-billion dollar state budget deficits. And even as New York continued its long record of underperforming the nation in terms of job creation and new investment, its budget and policy actions produced an even less competitive economic climate.”

The Business Council testified specifically in support of the Governor's proposed amendments to the Excelsior Jobs Program. The Business Council also called on the legislature to enact the Governor's proposed Recharge NY Program which would provide economic development power to businesses.

The Business Council expressed concern about the proposed merger of the Departments of Banking, Insurance and Consumer Protection Board into a new Department of Financial Regulation. Since this proposal will have a major impact on one of the state's most important economic sectors and will have no impact on the state budget, The Business Council urged the legislature to give it a complete and thorough review even if that means taking action outside the budget process.

The Business Council's full testimony is available here.