STATE BUDGET MUST FOCUS ON JOB CREATION
Legislative Column by Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R,C,I-Melrose)
Throughout my time in the Assembly, my main focus has been on creating the jobs we need right here in our community to turn our local economy around. I’ve fought tooth and nail to make state government focus on the Capital Region, and this year I’ll be able to make an even more direct impact as the ranking minority member on the Assembly Committee on Economic Development. This position will help me deliver results not only for new and emerging businesses, but for the existing businesses that continue to be the backbone of our economy.
Governor Cuomo recently presented his 2013-14 Executive Budget, which featured a handful of proposals that would nudge our economy in the right direction. Investing in high-tech innovation and commissioning another round of Regional Economic Development Council funding are positive measures, but they fall short of the commitment to job creation that our families and businesses are crying out for.
The majority of the governor’s economic development platform is focused on attracting new businesses to our state. That is certainly an admirable goal, but that’s where the focus on job creation stops. This leaves our long-standing business owners out in the cold, struggling to survive underneath the rampant taxes and regulations that have forced so many businesses to close their doors.
A perfect example is the Rice Mansion Inn, a beautiful and historic landmark in our community. The Inn has served the residents of WashingtonCounty since 1905 and is known as a welcoming destination. Regrettably, high taxes and fees are forcing this business, which is an integral part of our tourism economy, to close its doors after over 100 years of outstanding service. The news is both saddening and motivating.
I support recruiting new businesses and industries, but once they open, what support are we offering these job creators? What are we doing to foster an economic environment that makes it possible for these businesses to be successful? Recruitment of new businesses is a wasted endeavor if we fail to support our existing local mom and pop shops. In my ongoing, proactive effort to help revitalize our economy, I am sponsoring legislation to reduce the cost of electricity for small businesses (A1619) and to help businesses establish and finance a “college to work” program, training highly-skilled employees for our evolving economy (A2233).
I take great pride in being an advocate for small businesses. My new role as a leader on the economic development committee will allow me to do everything in my power to lead our municipalities, businesses, communities and families through economic uncertainty and toward a brighter future. As always, your ideas are welcomed at firstname.lastname@example.org, via Facebook or by phone at 518-479-0542.
Assemblyman McLaughlin represents the 107th district, which consists of parts of Rensselaer, Columbia and Washington counties. For more information, please visit Assemblyman McLaughlin’s official website