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For Release — March 23, 2016

Business Council statement heading into final days of budget negotiations

ALBANY, N.Y.—“As lawmakers head into the final days of negotiations on the Fiscal Year 2016-17 state budget, The Business Council of New York State is asking them to first, do no harm. Moving away from the rhetoric, the fact is this; a $15.7 billion dollar hike on our state’s employers is simply untenable. Recently, there have been a lot of studies highlighting the alleged benefits of a $15 an hour minimum wage, but these labor-backed studies fail to properly capture the economic realities. Already, we are seeing significant job losses in areas of the country that have moved toward a $15 hour wage. New York’s economy, particularly upstate, with its continuing weak economic growth, can’t support such an onerous and unprecedented wage hike. Instead, the Legislature and the Governor should look to the recent past for how to handle the future. They should embrace the spirit of the property tax cap and a two percent spending cap and expand the small business tax cuts currently on the table. They should also work on meaningful reforms to New York’s expensive and uncompetitive workers’ compensation system, finally eliminate the antiquated Scaffold Law, reject the most expansive Paid Family Leave proposal in the country, and appropriate funds in a way that brings true parity between mass transit and roads and bridges. Passing these reforms, and truly committing to workforce development, will do far more good than imposing a wage increase that employers are unable to absorb.” – Heather C. Briccetti, Esq., president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc.