Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications

For Release — January 20, 2015

Council releases Top Ten List of policy initiatives to improve business climate

ALBANY, N.Y.—With Governor Cuomo unveiling his administration’s New York State of Opportunity Agenda in a speech to a joint session of the New York State Legislature on January 21, The Business Council of New York State is offering a Top Ten list of actions the Governor should address to improve the state’s business climate.

“During the 2014 Legislative Session there was real progress toward improving the business climate including a fourth consecutive low-growth, on-time budget and significant reform of corporate taxes. Now, with the economy in the state showing signs of improvement such as job growth and reduced unemployment, our challenge in the 2015 Legislative Session will be to continue that progress on other issues businesses tell us are critical to growing and strengthening New York’s economy,” said Heather C. Briccetti, president and CEO.

The Business Council’s Top Ten list reflects fiscal restraint, targeted spending for infrastructure improvements and regulatory reform:

  1. Keep state budget growth under 2-percent and resist temptation to spend more.
  2. Pass an on-time budget.
  3. Reduce energy costs by repealing the 18-A assessment on energy which increases energy costs for all businesses; authorize the construction of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facilities and expand the state’s natural gas distribution network.
  4. Direct spending of the $5 billion financial settlement windfall to badly needed improvements to roads, bridges and other public works.
  5. Simplify and ease the regulatory burden that businesses face by conforming state regulations to federal regulations wherever possible eliminating unnecessary over-regulation and duplication.
  6. Enact statutory and regulatory reform of workers compensation regulations that will lower employer costs while preserving quality care for workers injured on the job.
  7. Reform the state’s antiquated Scaffold Law by adopting a standard that assigns comparative negligence similar to that in place for other forms of liability.
  8. Resist calls for additional wage mandates such as further increases to the state minimum wage and mandatory paid family leave.
  9. Extend and reform the highly successful Brownfield Cleanup Program.
  10. Advance education and workforce development initiatives by expanding the P-TECH early college high school program and lifting the cap on Charter Schools.

“Progress on these key items would keep New York State moving in a positive direction toward increased economic growth, good jobs and stronger communities, said Briccetti. “These are the areas we’ll be working on in the weeks ahead,” said Briccetti.

About The Business Council of New York State, Inc.

The Business Council is the leading business organization in the state. It represents the interests of public and private companies, colleges and universities, local and regional chambers of commerce and professional and trade associations across the state.

The primary function of the organization is to serve as an advocate for employers in the state political and policy-making arena, working for a healthier business climate, economic growth, and jobs.

The mission of The Business Council is to create economic growth, good jobs and strong communities across New York State.