Mandate Relief – Not Just A Soundbite

The phrase “mandate relief” has been one of the most used public policy phrases in the past 12 months, with no signs of slowing down.  From politicians to advocates (including me), mandate relief is, or at least seems to be, a major legislative priority.  But why you ask?

Take a look at New York compared to the rest of the country.

  • 49th in Business Tax Climate (2012 Tax Foundation)
  • 49th in State and Local Tax Burden (2010 Tax Foundation)
  • 48th in Cost of Doing Business (2011 CNBC)

Factor in New York’s Medicaid program, which is the most expensive in the nation and you have a state with high tax bills, less jobs and a gloomy outlook for the future.  Don’t believe me? Last May the New York Post hit the nail on the head.

Now, with the endless barrage of sixty second soundbites clamoring for “mandate relief”, an opportunity has presented itself.  Last Friday, I testified before Governor Cuomo’s Mandate Relief Council in Lake Placid.  While my comments were brief, I submitted a lengthy document filled with both NFIB’s recommendations and Let New York Work’s agenda to the council.

I urged the Mandate Relief Council to help businesses create jobs and to provide our municipalities and schools more financial flexibility.  Allowing businesses to flourish without oppressive and unnecessary government interference will help create a sustained economy.  Providing our local governments and schools with more freedom financially will help our communities thrive while protecting the critical services residents and students need.  All while lowering the burden on taxpayers.

I urge you to seize upon this rare chance and submit recommendations to the Mandate Relief Council – which you can do here.  Working together, we can move the agenda further and not allow “mandate relief” to solely remain a catchy phrase on TV.  Not only is the economic future of New York at stake, but the financial future of our schools and communities as well.

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About Mike Durant

Mike Durant was named New York State Director of NFIB in May 2011. Prior to joining NFIB as the Assistant State Director in May 2010, Durant began his career in the New York Senate working in the Office of Member Services. From there, he served in a number of positions during former New York Governor George E. Pataki’s administration. As a Research Specialist in the New York State Office of Demographic Policy, Mike was responsible for drafting a redistricting proposal for Governor Pataki. In addition, Mike served as a Research Specialist for the Empire State Development Corporation, as well as the Associate Commissioner of Human Resource Management with the New York Department of Labor. Durant also spent four years working at the Questar III BOCES as a specialist focusing on the complex formulas that drive aid to school districts across the state while also taking a lead role in the state legislative/budget process as it related to education policy. These past positions have given Mike a deep understanding of the complex political economics of the State of New York. Active in the community, Durant has served on a number of boards in both the village of Ballston Spa and Town of Milton. Durant received his bachelor’s degree from Siena College in Loudonville, New York and resides in Ballston Spa with his wife and two children.
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