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Business group likes Cuomo's agenda, but says more work to be done

Posted by Karen DeWitt on

An upstate business group is pleased with some portions of Governor Cuomo’s 2017 agenda, especially a plan to expand ride-hailing services.

Unshackle Upstate’s Greg Biryla, says he’s relieved that there are no major proposals that would adversely affect employers this year, like last years’ minimum wage increase and requirement to provide paid family leave. He says his group, which represents the upstate chambers of commerce, is pleased that Cuomo wants to continue a voluntary 2% cap on spending growth, and push to finally allow ride-hailing services outside of New York City.

“It’s really become something of a joke that upstate New York cannot or will not offer this modern transportation option,” said Biryla. “It certainly has a tangible impact on our tourism industries.”

He says upstate New York still has major economic woes, though that government has not been able to solve. He says the latest census number show the state lost population overall, due to migration from upstate areas.

“Population follows opportunities,” said Biryla. “If you want to see an economic and population regrowth in upstate New York, it all comes down to a climate that fosters jobs.”    

Governor Cuomo has pushed economic development projects, but Biryla says there is no one “silver bullet” that will work. He’d like to see cuts in taxes and business regulations. He says his groups is encouraged by a  proposal to reform Workers Compensation, which is the third most expensive for employers in the nation

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