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Yesterday NYS applied for a wavier from the federal government asking to reinvest $10 billion of savings created by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Medicaid Redesign Teamn into the state’s health care infrastructure.  The goal would be to use the savings to update and modernize the physical and organizational health care infrastructure.  It remains to be seen what future savings would be created, but clearly the cost of health care is astronomical so any attempt to create savings to be passed on to those paying for health care plans would be beneficial to business owners.

A new 60-megawatt ReEnergy plant has been proposed by Cuomo to provide power at Ft. Drum. While Article X has been a highly debated subject in the North Country, this project will not need to go through the new Article X permitting process because the coal plant already had the necessary permits to operate.  Gov. Cuomo again expressed his opinion about Article X in this quote: “Unless we want to go back to candles, we need energy…The Article X law is, I believe, an intelligent balance between local input, but still a process that can be done and can be done expeditiously.”  NFIB was a strong supporter of Article X and was pleased with its passage in 2011.

Gov. Cuomo signed a piece of legislation into law last week which will provide NY craft brewers with greater ability to market and to distribute their brews by allowing them to sever contracts and switch distributors.  The craft brew industry is continuing to quickly grow in NYS but the industry as a whole was greatly divided on this legislation. It is unknown whether many craft brewers will attempt to end contracts or which beers consumer will see more or less of on the shelves as a result.  The legislation goes into effect in 2013.

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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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