Headlines, Recaps and Statements…

This week I had the fortunate opportunity to spend some time in Washington DC with small business owners from across the country.  It truly was a tremendous event for NFIB and the voice of small business was ringing in our nation’s capital.

Of course, back here in New York, two significant events have taken place.  The State Assembly voted for a hike in the minimum wage and school districts had their budgets voted on.

NFIB’s position on minimum wage is clear.  In a state that is the most regulated, highest taxed and anti-business, raising the minimum wage is not the answer.  Cutting taxes, reducing oppressive burdens and revitalizing the economic development potential of our state will create jobs (that pay far higher than minimum wage) and solve many of our revenue problems.  Sadly, the Assembly leadership prefers to continue to play games with New York’s small business owners.

On Tuesday, I issued the following statement in response to the Assembly vote:

“Despite overwhelming opposition among small business owners, despite the research and despite common sense, the Assembly today seems prepared to make employment more costly in New York.
“Small business owners across New York have made it clear that raising the minimum wage in this economy and in this regulatory environment would be devastating. Members of the State Assembly who support the hike are making a very unfortunate mistake for which struggling small businesses and entry-level job seekers are going to pay a high price.
“Despite modest progress in the past 15 months to change the state’s reckless economic policies, New York remains at the very bottom of national rankings because of its hostile business climate. Apparently, the leadership in the Assembly has decided for political reasons that they like the view better from down there.
“Make no mistake – voting for an increase in the minimum wage is a key issue for NFIB. I strongly urge the Senate and Governor Cuomo to reject this measure and maintain their focus on real job creation and pro-small business policies.”


All eyes turn to the Senate Majority now, but our position remains the same.  For NFIB, there is not a deal to be made.

The Governor seems to doubt a deal can be reached on this issue as well.  Or is this only a charade being played for political purposes?  Small business owners are not playing, and nothing is ever dead in this town.

Curious how your member of the Assembly voted on the minimum wage bill?  You can see the tally here.

The final statistics are in on Tuesday’s school budget vote.  Yes, the property tax cap was by and large a success in year one. Approximately 99% of all school budgets were approved by voters.  This highlights the impact of the tax cap, but as I have been saying, without significant mandate relief, next year could be a different story.

With the reserve funds depleted and the taxpayer ATM closed, we need to start making significant progress on real, comprehensive mandate relief.  NFIB will continue to push the Let NY Work agenda and is committed to helping our communities and school districts gain the fiscal flexibility they need.


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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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