Meet New York’s 2012 “Guardian’s of Small Business”!

NFIB/NY recently awarded our most coveted honor to an elite list of New York State Legislators.  This award is no mere token of gratitude; it must be earned. The NFIB “Guardian Award” recognizes state legislators who have, through their voting record, demonstrated strong support for our state’s small businesses and NFIB’s position on key issues facing them.

The guardian statue is, carved in the likeness of the classic image of a “minuteman”, bestowed by NFIB upon lawmakers who display the courage to protect and defend New York’s small-business sector.

It takes courage and determination to do big things for small business, to stand firm when powerful forces attempt to run roughshod over the hard-working entrepreneurs of Main Street. Those who possess such fortitude do not hesitate to cast votes favorable to small-business positions.  These are those protectors of small business — New York State’s 2012 “Guardians of Small Business”:

Senator Catherine Young (R-Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chattauqua and Livingston)

  • 86% 2012 Voting Record
  • Forcefully debated against a number of NFIB’s key bills that NFIB/NY opposed and frequently mentions NFIB specifically on the Senate floor.

Senator Lee Zeldin (R-Suffolk)

  • 100% 2012 Voting Record
  • As an out spoken critic of the MTA payroll tax, Senator Zeldin has spent his entire first term in office seeking to abolish the tax.  His dedication to this issue and partnership with NFIB/NY  has led the payroll tax to be reformed, aiding almost 250,000 small businesses in the MTA service region.

Senator Patrick Gallivan (R-Erie, Wyoming, Livingston and Ontario)

  • 100% 2010 Voting Record
  • Chief sponsor of the NFIB backed “Scaffold Law” reform legislation.

Senator John DeFrancisco (R-Onondaga)

  • 100% 2012 Voting Record
  • Regularly touts NFIB to the media and within the Senate Majority Conference.  As Chair of Senate Finance Committee, Senate DeFrancisco is charge with the task of being the chief debater of legislation on the Senate floor and is an outspoken advocate for fiscal responsibility.

Senator Mike Nozzolio (R-Cayuga, Monroe, Ontario, Seneca, Tompkins and Wayne)

  • 100% 2012 Voting Record
  • Has been a strong advocate for NFIB and our agenda within the Senate Majority Conference.

Assemblyman Robin Schimminger (D-Erie & Niagara)

  • 86% 2012 Voting Record
  • Consistently NFIB’s most reliable and stalwart supporter in the Assembly Majority

Assemblyman George Amedore (R-Montgomery and Schenectady)

  • 86% 2012 Voting Record
  • Strong voice in Assembly on small business issues and tax relief

Assemblyman Brian Kolb (R-Cayuga, Cortland, Ontario, Onondaga and Seneca)

  • 86% 2012 Voting Record
  • Assembly Minority Leader
  • Has provided a strong voice in opposition to higher taxes and spending and virtually every major bill that NFIB also opposed
  • Strong proponent for the NFIB/NY mandate relief agenda

Assemblyman James Tedisco (R-Schenectady and Saratoga)

  • 86% 2012 Voting Record
  • Has been an outspoken advocate for the NFIB agenda and has strongly advocated against the toll hike proposal.
  • He has shown considerable leadership on many small business issues impact agri-business and the adverse impact of taxes on small business.


(Mike Durant presents the 2012 Guardian of Small Business Award to Assemblyman Tedisco)

Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R-Greene, Columbia, Albany  and Rennselaer)

  • 86% 2012 Voting Record
  • Has been an outspoken advocate for the NFIB agenda and lead opposition to a number of bills NFIB opposed.
  • Member of the Assembly Small Business Committee.  He has also shown considerable leadership on mandate relief and the fight against minimum wage.

These lawmakers are to be applauded for their commitment to free enterprise and dedication to the small business owners in their districts.

For more information about your legislators check out NFIB’s Voting Record:

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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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