The Leaves May Change, But Serious Policy Issues Have Not

Lost in the haze of campaign ads, debates and robo-calls, it is easy to forget that the most significant issues facing small business in New York are anything but dormant.

Consider that we are still waiting for resolution to the proposed toll hike.  There was an alleged October 1st deadline, but that is a week old.  Today, Gannett reports that the Thruway Authority has failed to collect tolls from a million riders (totaling around $35 million in lost revenue).  Does that sound like the leaders at the Thruway Authority are doing their all to avoid this disastrous proposal?  I didn’t think so.

Remember the minimum wage debate from the spring?  As expected, that has turned into a major campaign issue, particularly in the State Senate.  Last week, Senator Greg Ball seems to have had a change of heart with his new proposal that would increase the minimum wage while repealing the rest of the MTA payroll tax and cutting taxes for businesses (up to 20%).

Everyone expects a post-election special session by the legislature with an agenda to be determined.  Assuredly, minimum wage will at least be a topic of conversation, and it is highly doubtful that any cuts to business costs at the level Senator Ball is proposing would be paired with it.

We have also seen Sikorksy announced it is leaving in the Southern Tier and GM, on Friday, announced it is leaving Honeoye Falls.  These two announcements equate to lost jobs, lost revenue and more angst over New York’s stagnate attempts to recover economically.  It also means that New York is a lengthy ways away from being open for business.

My point?  When you see those campaign ads, hear those robocalls and have candidates knock on your door, ask them what they are doing for small business.  Ask them if they take mandate relief for our communities and schools seriously.  And ask them if they are committed to changing a status quo that continues to cyclically punish New York’s job creators.


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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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