Exactly Who Does Albany Work For?

Let’s look at the current deck of cards Albany has laid at the feet of small business owners..

  • A bill that would impose factory style mandates on our family farms. Of course the AFL-CIO is leading this push.
  • A bill that would decimate the trucking industry. The Teamsters are united here.
  • Alleged “economic development proposals” which incorporate numerous hand outs to labor unions. (See the Gov’s Casino bill and Tax-Free NY) Again, AFL-CIO et al.
  • Collective bargaining legislation for doctors, numerous prevailing wage expansion bills, a bill to exempt the Freelancers Union from Obamacare…the list goes on and on.

Notice a theme?  Anything stand out?

So where does that leave the rest of us?  In a bad place.  This week, I and Unshackle Upstate’s Brian Sampson took a tour across the state, discussing these devastating bills and what the legislature and Governor should be doing.  Of course the Governor’s Tax-Free proposal came up.  A proposal that NFIB/NY had yet to comment publicly on.

A few of the questions I have are as follows:

  • What message does this send to existing small business owners?
  • What happens after ten years when these start-ups face the wrath of New York’s tax and business climate?
  • And why is there labor friendly language incorporated throughout the bill?  Do potential start ups really want to deal with New York’s onerous labor mandates?

While NFIB/NY does not share the unbridled exuberance that other business leaders have shown, there is an opportunity here. A chance to show real leadership.  Real courage.  An opportunity for the Governor and lawmakers to FINALLY listen to the majority of New Yorkers that work in the private sector.

Expand Tax-Free to include needed and necessary reforms that NFIB and many other organizations push for.  Reform Scaffold Law.  Reform Wage Theft.  Seat the Health Care Quality and Cost Containment Commission.  Provide our manufacturers with a tax reduction.

Show small business that Albany does not just work for big labor.  Prove to small business that you are not just working for the splashy headline that a new start up could generate.

Work for entrepreneurs that are here now.  Struggling every day.

Frankly, do your job.


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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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