Business Council says historic budget gives New York hope for growth

ALBANY, NY (03/28/2011)(readMedia)-- "The budget agreement reached by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is truly historic and starts New York on a path to economic recovery," said Heather Briccetti, acting-president & CEO of The Business Council of New York State. "By reaching a bi-partisan budget agreement that cuts spending, avoids significant new taxes or increased borrowing the state's leaders are sending a powerful message to the state's business community."

"For decades New York has spent too much and taxed too much. The result has been the loss of people and jobs and stagnant economic growth. It will take time to make New York fully competitive again, but this budget agreement shows that New York's leaders are serious about changing its direction to create jobs and opportunity," added Briccetti.

This budget agreement also sets the stage for long-term spending discipline by capping the growth in spending for education aid and Medicaid.

Among the most important elements of this budget economic development initiatives that will help employers create jobs in New York, these include:

• Creating the Recharge NY Power Program to provide a permanent economic development power program that will help create and maintain thousands of jobs in energy-intense industries. It will also encourage capital investment in New York.

• Improving the Excelsior Jobs Program to support job creation and investment in targeted industries that will provide long-term growth for the state.

• Creation of Regional Economic Development Councils to speed up job creation and remove barriers to growth throughout the state.

"There is still work to do to make New York competitive. It took decades of overspending and overtaxing to seriously damage our economy and that cannot be fixed overnight. But, this budget agreement goes a long way toward putting New York on the right track," added Briccetti. "The next step is to finish the fiscal reform agenda by adopting a real property tax cap and real mandate relief for local governments and school districts. That mandate relief must include reform of public employee collective bargaining laws to allow management to control labor costs. And it must include public employee pension and health benefits reform."

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