Feb 11th - 7:15 am
From the Morning Memo:
Befitting what will be a heated fight for the 9th Senate district on Long Island, Senate Democrats are wasting little time to attack Republican Chris McGrath as he launched his bid on Wednesday.
Democrats were more than happy to seize on McGrath’s insistence that he would not step away from his law practice if elected and, at the same time, was dismissive of calls for ethics reforms.
“At a time when New Yorkers are demanding change, Chris McGrath steps forward as the ultimate agent of the corrupt status quo,” said Democratic Senate Campaign Committee spokesman Mike Murphy.
“At his first official campaign event, Chris McGrath outrageously confirmed he is against ethics reforms to ban outside income and will continue to line his pockets through his outside law practice. While Long Islanders insist on cleaner government, Chris McGrath proves he is just another tool of Dean Skelos’ corrupt political machine.”
Senate GOP spokesman Scott Reif defended McGrath and implied the Democrats are desperate, linking the conference to New York City lawmakers.
“Chris McGrath is not a politician and he has never before run for elected office, but he has dedicated his life to serving his community and giving back to others,” Reif said.
“The New York City Democrats are flailing around because they know that their candidate is a fraud and a phony who is hopelessly out of step with the hardworking taxpayers who live in this district. Chris McGrath is exactly the right candidate at the right time, and he’s going to be elected to the State Senate.”
The back and forth comes as the seat itself was vacated by Republican Dean Skelos, who was convicted of corruption charges in December. Skelos was accused and convicted on charges of his using his power to aid the business interests of his son, Adam.
Two weeks prior to Skelos’s conviction, former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was convicted on charges that he leveraged his own power to aid private law practice and enrich himself.
In the wake of the convictions, Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed a limit on outside income of state lawmakers to 15 percent of their base pay, currently $79,500.
While Assembly Democrats are discussing internally potential outside pay changes, Senate Republicans have been cool to Cuomo’s proposal.
Speaking with reporters this week, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan said voters he’s spoken to care more about jobs and economic development issues than limiting outside income.
“The God’s honest truth is the most important thing I hear about from people is jobs,” Flanagan said. “They want economic development. They want the chance to have a good economic opportunity for them and their families, keep their kids here in the state of New York.”
A Siena College this week found most voters support curtailing outside income, 59 percent to 35 percent. But at the same time, most voters list pocketbook-related matters as top issues for state government: 44 percent believe education should be the top issue, followed by taxes at 39 percent and jobs at 31 percent.
Senate Republicans have been more guarded when it comes to placing limitations and restrictions on outside activity by state lawmakers. Last year, the conference was resistant to efforts to have lawyers disclose their legal clients, but later agreed to a compromise measure that takes effect in 2017.
The top earner of outside income for the Senate GOP, Michael Nozzolio, is leaving the Senate this year as he prepares for heart surgery.
Flanagan himself stepped away from his own law practice last year before he succeeded Skelos as majority leader in the chamber. Flanagan said the move at the time was so that he could concentrate on his job as a legislative leader.
Meanwhile, the outside income debate isn’t only being confined to the special election scheduled for April 19.
Sara Niccoli, a Democrat running for the 46th Senate district against incumbent George Amedore, took aim at Flanagan’s comments this week.
“Nearly 90 percent of New Yorkers agree that corruption is a serious problem in Albany,” she said. “Yet when it comes to actually doing something about it, like limiting outside income for lawmakers, the State Senate GOP says it’s at ‘the bottom of the priority list.’ New Yorkers need good jobs, quality education, property tax relief, and environmental sustainability.
“As long as legislators are allowed to set priorities according to their wallets, the needs of our communities will always take a backseat.”
Feb 11th - 6:43 am
From the Morning Memo:
Buffalo businessman and 2010 Republican nominee for governor Carl Paladino is all in for Donald Trump and hopes you will be, too.
Paladino is recruiting a New Yorkers for Trump support team, increasing his efforts after the real-estate mogul won the GOP New Hampshire primary by a wide margin.
“It is a rare opportunity for New York Republicans to play a critical role in both the nomination and the general election,” Paladino wrote in an email. “Donald Trump has earned our support and now is the time to give it to him.”
A Siena College poll this week, released before the New Hampshire vote, showed Trump with 34 percent of the vote among Republican voters. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz each have 16 percent.
Paladino and his political operation have proven adept at mobilizing Republican primary voters in the past. Six years ago, during his campaign for governor, Paladino scored an upset victory in the primary against former Rep. Rick Lazio, the preferred candidate of the GOP in the state.
Paladino was able to do so by turning out votes in his base, western New York.
In the email, Paladino called on New York Republicans to unite behind Trump, alluding to comments made to The New York Post recently by the former state GOP Committee Chairman Bill Powers.
“It’s time for New York Republicans to unite behind our own native son,” he said. “It’s time to listen to our great former State Republican Chairman Bill Powers and choose a winning candidate: Donald Trump.”
The state’s presidential primary is scheduled for April 19.
Feb 11th - 5:32 am
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Chautauqua County.
At 8:15 a.m., state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia visits Maple Avenue Middle School, 515 Maple Ave., Saratoga Springs.
At 9:30 a.m., Elia visits Lake Avenue Elementary School, 126 Lake Ave., Saratoga Springs.
At 9:45 a.m., Deputy Secretary of State for Economic Opportunity Jorge Montalvo outlines Cuomo’s 2016 State of the State agenda, Great Kills Friendship Club, 11 Sampson Ave., Staten Island.
At 10 a.m., the NYC Campaign Finance Board hosts a public meeting, 100 Church St., 12th Floor, Manhattan.
At 10:30 a.m., Cuomo makes an announcement, Dunkirk High School, 75 W. 6th St., Dunkirk.
Also at 10:30 a.m., the Assembly Committee on Cities holds a public hearing on “Infrastructure Needs Relating to Cities,” to examine the infrastructure problems of cities and explore potential solutions, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1300 Morris Park Ave., the Bronx.
At 11 a.m., Assemblyman Todd Kaminsky, Democratic candidate for the 9th Senate District seat, makes a pledge regarding outside income rules for state legislators, Rockville Centre LIRR Station, Clinton Ave and Front Street, Rockville Centre, Long Island.
Also at 11 a.m., Elia visits SUNY Adirondack Early College Career Academy, 640 Bay Rd., Queensbury.
At noon, NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito delivers her State of the City address, Samuel Gompers Educational Campus, 455 Southern Blvd., the Bronx. (NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina, among many other elected and appointed officials, will attend).
Also at noon, state Tax and Finance Commissioner Jerry Boone outlines CUomo’s 2016 State of the State agenda, SUNY Delhi , Sanford Hall Centennial Center, 2 Main St., Delhi.
At noon, LG Kathy Hochul makes a state funding announcement, Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce, 214 North Franklin St., Watkins Glen.
At 12:30 p.m., the New York Cosmos partner with Assemblywoman Nily Rozic to offer free soccer clinics, 120 Queens School, 58-01 136th St., Queens.
At 1 p.m. DOT Commissioner Matt Driscoll outlines Cuomo’s 2016 State of the State agenda, SRC Arena – Otis Suite, Onondaga Community College, 4585 West Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse.
Also at 1 p.m., Elia visits Jackson Heights Elementary School, 24 Jackson Ave., Glens Falls.
Also at 1 p.m. OGS Commissioner RoAnn Destito outlines Cuomo’s 2016 State of the State agenda, Carthage Area Hospital’s Professional Building, 3 Bridge St., Carthage.
Also at 1 p.m., Canal Corp. Director Brian Stratton outlines Cuomo’s 2016 State of the State agenda, Town of Webb Park Avenue Office Building, 183 Park Ave., Old Forge.
At 1:15 p.m., Hochul visits Lakewood Vineyards, 4024 State Route 14, Watkins Glen.
At 11:30 a.m., Finger Lakes region municipal leaders, 1199SEIU, Gas Free Seneca and others rally against a proposed liquefied petroleum gas and natural gas storage and transport facility, Legislative Office Building, Room 130, Albany.
At 1:30 p.m., Elia visits Glens Falls Middle/High School, 10 Quade St., Glens Falls.
At 2 p.m., state Division of Human Rights Commissioner Helen Foster outlines Cuomo’s 2016 State of the State agenda, BronxWorks, 1130 Grand Concourse, the Bronx.
Also at 2 p.m., NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray will visit South Brooklyn Community High School’s Learning to Work program to see and hear more about their efforts to support youth in transitioning to secondary education or employment, 173 Conover St., Brooklyn.
At 3 p.m., state Liquor Authority Chairman Vince Bradley outlines Cuomo’s 2016 State of the State agenda, Katonah Library – Community Room, 26 Bedford Rd., Katonah.
At 3 p.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will deliver remarks at a public health roundtable with leading clinical experts on the Zika Virus, The COW, City Hall, Manhattan. (The roundtable is closed press, but Deputy Mayor Dr. Herminia Palacio and Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett will take on-topic questions after the event).
At 3:30 p.m., IDC Leader Jeff Klein and IDC member Sen. David Carlucci will join NYSUT members, parents and teachers to call for the creation of a Kindergarten Conversion Fund from approximately $60 million in unclaimed or forfeited lottery prizes for full-day K and the expansion of existing kindergarten programs, Park Elementary School library, 22 Edward St., Ossining.
At 4:40 p.m., Assemblyman William Colton gathers with community members to tell their stories of ‘how the 14 month closing of seven Manhattan bound N Line stations has impacted the lives of riders and their families, in front of Kings Highway N Line Station, Kings Highway, Brooklyn.
At 5 p.m., Farina visits the new STEM lab at Brooklyn International High School, 49 Flatbush Ave. Extension, Brooklyn.
At 5:15 p.m., the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce, New Democratic Dimensions, Common Cause NY and National Women’s Political Caucus NYC Chapter hold a “NYS Political Ethics: Where Do We Go From Here?” networking cocktail reception featuring a conversation with state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, General Society Library, 20 West 44th St., Manhattan. (Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, NYC Councilman Daniel Garodnick and former NYC Councilman Robert Jackson are also scheduled to speak).
At 5:30 p.m., Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. hosts an annual African-American Heritage Celebration, recognizing individuals for their contributions to the community and city, including Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel, Eastwood Manor, 3371 Eastchester Rd, the Bronx.
At 6 p.m., Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte delivers her State of the District address, Brooklyn College Student Center, Campus Road and East 27th Street, Brooklyn.
At 7 p.m., Farina attend the Town Hall meeting of District 25’s Community Education Council, JHS 185, 147-26 25th Dr., Queens.
A state agency directed New York City to toughen security at its emergency homeless shelters following the fatal stabbings yesterday of a mother and her young children at a Staten Island hotel used to house the homeless.
NYC’s spending on homeless services has skyrocketed by 46 percent over just two years — and there’s no sign New York taxpayers are getting their money’s worth, Comptroller Scott Stringer charged.
The New York Assembly announced plans to hold a hearing on water quality in the state as officials scramble to address contamination in the Village of Hoosick Falls.
Sen. Kathy Marchione, U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, and Rep. Chris Gibson said the timeline on the village of Hoosick Falls’ website stating they were first “updated” on the situation in December 2014 is not accurate. They insist they were first told last March, though the state DOH and the EPA informed them little could be done because the toxic chemical was not a regulated contaminant.
A company with deep ties to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, OTG Management, is planning to bring electronic gaming — including a digital version of the New York Lottery — to JFK and La Guardia airports.
Cuomo called for federal regulators to reject KeyCorp’s proposed acquisition of First Niagara Financial Group, and threatened legal action if the deal goes through.
A new proposal from Cuomo’s office seeks to extend to minors the confidentiality regarding HIV infections that is already given to them for the treatment of other sexually transmitted infections.
Mike Bloomberg has commissioned a second national poll to test his viability as an independent presidential candidate, following the decisive victories of Donald Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire, because the former NYC mayor is “itching” to run, sources tell the NY Post.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus ripped into Bloomberg, calling the former mayor’s potential presidential run a boon for the Republican Party.
Meet Corey Lewandowski, the man running the Trump campaign.
The morning after Sanders’s sweeping victory in New Hampshire, the Vermont senator took his momentum to a Harlem landmark – Sylvia’s restaurant – to have tea with the Rev. Al Sharpton, who has not yet issued an endorsement in the race.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is planning to campaign with the mothers of Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner as she and Sanders battle it out for the black vote.
Federal prosecutors began presenting evidence to a grand jury in Brooklyn in the death of Garner, an unarmed black man who died after being placed in a chokehold by a white police officer in Staten Island in July 2014, according to a person briefed on the matter.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who suspended his presidential bid after his sixth-place finish in the GOP primary in New Hampshire, returned home yesterday with his White House dreams crushed and a heap of problems on his desk in Trenton.
A Daily News investigation of NYC’s 11,513 licensed day care centers (and hundreds more unlicensed facilities) found a pattern of too many kids and not enough help.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will reportedly, for the first time ever, march in this year’s New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade.
Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney said the city of Syracuse is likely to go bankrupt or be taken over by a state fiscal control board if it doesn’t merge with the county, County Executive Joanie Mahoney said.
Feb 10th - 6:44 pm
Tuesday, Rochester businessman Daniel Lynch, became the fourth and final co-defendant to plead guilty in Monroe County to bid-rigging charges. But the scandal surrounding contracts awarded by a Local Development Corporation that has dragged on for years, did not end just because the litigation is over.
Wednesday, Monroe County Democratic Chairwoman Jamie Romeo called on the county Republican committee to refund or donate any “stolen funds” contributed to the party by Lynch. The press release cites testimony from Lynch in the plea agreement that he directed tens of thousands of stolen dollars from inflated county contracts to both the Monroe County Republican Housekeeping Account and Friends of Maggie Brooks, a committee for the former county executive.
GOP Chairman Bill Reilich quickly responded that the party is investigating and will return any money associated with the illegal activities in question. Reilich also said, to the best of his knowledge, only one individual donation was made by Lynch to the party since his chairmanship began in 2008.
“During an investigation in 2012, an inquiry was made regarding individual donations. At that time we learned that Mr. Lynch had donated $10,000 to the Housekeeping account. That amount was immediately refunded,” he said.
Furthermore, Reilich said during the party’s own investigation it found Lynch’s company Navitech Services Corp. had made two separate donations totaling $4500 to the Democratic committee. He called on the chairwoman to heed her own advice.
“I am disappointed in the hypocrisy that has been displayed by Ms. Romeo. Instead of jumping to conclusions, she should have taken the time to review her own Committee’s financial dealings with individuals and businesses implicated in the LDC investigation,” he said.
Romeo volleyed back.
“We have been in that process regarding this money but to try to insinuate that County Democrats were influenced by such a contribution is beyond absurd,” she said.
New County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo, R, has made eliminating LDC’s one of the main focuses of her office and has also introduced legislation to create an Office of Public Integrity.
Feb 10th - 5:15 pm
Republican Carly Fiorina is the latest candidate to suspend her 2016 presidential bid. She announced her decision on Facebook and Twitter.
Sen. Bernie Sanders went on “The View” and got his first taste of his very own ice cream flavor, “Bernie’s Yearning” by Ben & Jerry’s. He pronounced it “excellent.”
Sanders had breakfast this morning with the Rev. Al Sharpton at Sylvia’s in Harlem – the same New York City restaurant where Sharpton huddled with Barack Obama during his 2008 presidential campaign.
“My concern is that in January of next year, for the first time in American history, a black family will be moving out of the White House. I do not want black concerns to be moved out with them,” Sharpton said.
Early this morning, with the results of New Hampshire still sinking in, former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s top political advisor Kevin Sheekey tweeted a New York Post story making the case for a Bloomberg candidacy.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo penned a letter today officially requesting federal officials block the merger of First Niagara and KeyCorp.
SolarCity’s Buffalo factory likely won’t hit full production until the summer of 2017 – somewhere between three to six months later than the initial timetable.
A state Supreme Court justice rejected a motion for a mistrial in the case of a NYPD police officer charged with manslaughter, saying the defense’s complaints about the prosecution’s closing argument didn’t amount to misconduct.
Cuomo is asking the state PSC to investigate NRG Energy and the reasons behind its decision to close the coal-fired power plant it owns in Dunkirk rather than converting it to run on natural gas.
Cuomo’s infrastructure proposals “aim to achieve worthy goals, but have some fundamental flaws from a public policy and infrastructure planning perspective.”
The amount of radioactive tritium leaking from the Indian Point nuclear power plant is growing, according to tests released today.
More than a third of practicing attorneys in the United States are problem drinkers and 28 percent struggle with depression, according to a new study.
Rep. Tom Reed says he is continuing to press Cuomo to seek the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act funding to get Route 219 construction started.
Five Buffalo schools share the unenviable spot of being among the first in New York to test the state’s new receivership law and meet its ultimatum: Improve, or else.
TWC News’ documentary, “Outside the Wall, Going Inside the Dannemora Prison Break” has been nominated for a New York Emmy. Among those named in the nomination, is the late Bill Carey, who co-produced the program and conducted a lengthy, exclusive interview with Cuomo.
Suffolk’s new police commissioner, Timothy Sini, said he won’t run for district attorney next year when the job, now occupied by Thomas Spota, comes open for election.
Georgina Bloomberg owns a rescue pig.
State lawmakers continue to search for a compromise on a paid family leave program in New York, with disagreement centering on how to pay for the measure.
Cuomo is scheduled to visit Dunkirk tomorrow to formally unveil the state’s plans to spend $200 million to build a high-tech drug manufacturing center there for a Buffalo biotech company.
Feb 10th - 4:40 pm
A trio of state investigations from disparate agencies into the tritium leak at Indian Point will be integrated, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced in a letter on Wednesday released by his office.
In the letter, Cuomo directs Health Commissioner Howard Zucker, Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos and Public Service Commission Chairwoman and CEO Aubrey Zibelman to coordinate their departments’ inquiries into the contamination of groundwater near the nuclear plant in Westchester County.
The announcement comes after the facility’s owner, Entergy Corp., reported the level of tritium in the water had increased by 80 percent since its initial report.
“The trends of unexpected outages and environmental incidents like these are extremely disconcerting,” Cuomo said. “On February 6, I directed the Departments of Environmental Conservation and Health to investigate the cause of the radioactive leak. Operational problems at Indian Point have been under investigation by the Department of Public Service since my directive in December 2015.”
Now Cuomo is having his administration “thoroughly explore” whether operational problems at the plant may have caused the leak.
“Representatives from the Department of Health, Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of Public Service will be onsite as part of these investigations,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo has long been a critic of Indian Point and has called for the facility to be shuttered, raising concerns about the plant’s proximity to a densely populated area in the metropolitan region.
Feb 10th - 3:44 pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a letter to federal regulators on Wednesday urged them to reject a proposed merger of two banks that he says would have a major impact on consumers and jobs in upstate New York.
In the letter to the Federal Trade Commission, Cuomo wrote the acquisition of First Niagara by Key Bank would hurt customers by limiting access and reduce competition.
At the same time, Cuomo is concerned the bank merger would eliminate jobs as well, especially in western New York.
“The proposed acquisition of First Niagara by Key Bank would have a devastating impact on consumers and businesses in Upstate New York, and I urge the federal government to reject the application. This proposal would reduce retail banking competition, limit consumer access and convenience, and ultimately eliminate jobs throughout the region,” Cuomo wrote in the letter. :Blocking this deal is the right thing to do – plain and simple – and my administration will not hesitate to stand up for New Yorkers by opposing this acquisition.”
Cuomo joins a growing list of western New York and Buffalo-area elected officials who have raised concerns with the merger, including Rep. Brian Higgins and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz. U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, too, has raised concerns about the merger’s impact on jobs in the Buffalo area.
Feb 10th - 3:23 pm
A bill proposed by two Democratic state lawmakers would provide a package of benefits to those who are wrongfully convicted.
The proposal comes amid increasing public awareness of questionable convictions through popular true crime stories from the Serial podcast and Netflix’s docudrama Making A Murderer.
The bill, backed by Assemblyamn Dan Quart and Sen. Brad Hoylan, would apply to those who are incarcerated in a state prison and later exonerated.
They would have their convictions permanently sealed and receive benefits to help them start their lives over again, including lifetime health, mental health and dental insurance as well as reimbursement for attorney fees.
”The state has no more serious responsibility than correcting its own errors,” Quart said in a statement. “A wrongful conviction can’t ever be undone, but New York has a duty to ensure that exonerees are made whole as completely as possible. The wrongfully convicted should be able to access the same services as other parolees, in addition to job training and health and mental health care as they start their lives over.”
The bill comes after a record 149 people across the country were exonerated in 2015, with New York alone representing more than 10 percent of those overall cases.
“Wrongful conviction is a miscarriage of justice in the truest sense,” Hoylman said. “Incarceration exacts a physical and psychological toll that can be compounded when someone is imprisoned for a crime they did not commit. While we can never truly return the time stolen from the wrongfully convicted, New York has a moral obligation to help those for whom the criminal justice system has failed.”
Feb 10th - 2:29 pm
A prominent gun-control group on Wednesday criticized Rep. Chris Gibson’s call to rollback the SAFE Act, a signature legislative accomplishment for Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Gibson on Tuesday launched his exploratory bid for governor ahead of the 2018 statewide elections, promising to tackle the SAFE Act by scaling back its provisions and replacing it with measures aimed addressing mental health and gang violence.
But New Yorkers Against Gun Violence in a statement said Gibson can’t have it both ways — claim the “moderate” label and pursuing a SAFE Act rollback. The group also pointed to Gibson’s $14,900 in contributions from the National Rifle Association.
“Our state doesn’t need a beltway alumnus like Chris Gibson to replicate what he and his colleagues did in Washington: stand idly by while nearly 100,000 Americans died from gun violence since the slaughter of twenty children and six educators at Sandy Hook,” said Leah Gunn Barrett, the group’s director. “It is unconscionable that he would wear this failure as a badge of honor as he pledges to roll back the real progress that has been made in this state.”
Gibson’s position on gun control is nuanced. He told reporters at a news conference on Tuesday he is not opposed to background checks, nor does he consider such provisions “gun control.”
Expect more of the same from organizations allied with Cuomo to knock Gibson as he starts the fundraising process early in the campaign cycle in order to be competitive with the Democratic incumbent’s $15 million war chest.
Cuomo has said he plans to seek a third term in 2018.
Feb 10th - 2:11 pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office on Wednesday released an eight-page report that highlight the potential benefits of a $15 minimum wage in New York.
Cuomo is backing a phased-in minimum wage increase to $15 in the current legislative session amid opposition from business groups and skepticism from majority Republicans in the state Senate.
In the report, the Cuomo administration and the state Department of Labor point to the 2.3 million residents in the state — about 25 percent of the workforce — will have their pay boosted, increasing spending power by $15.7 billion into the economy.
At the same time, the report points to most minimum wage earners being adults, with half of them being 35 years or older living outside of New York City.
The current $9 minimum wage, the product of a 2013 agreement between Cuomo and the Legislature, is “not a decent living wage” and only pays $18,720 a year for a full-time worker, the report states.
And getting to the heart of the business-backed argument that a wage hike would cost jobs, the Department of Labor’s data found employment increased following a wage hike.
“If you work full time, you shouldn’t have to live in poverty – which is why it’s time for New York to lead the way and pass a $15 minimum wage,” Cuomo said in a statement.
“This report demonstrates that raising the minimum wage will provide new opportunity and restore economic justice to millions of New Yorkers. Our proposal will lift families out of poverty and create a stronger economy for all, and I urge lawmakers to help us fight for fair pay for working families this year.”
The report released in packaged press releases aimed at highlighting the impact specifically in different regions of the state such as the Hudson Valley, Southern Tier, Mohawk Valley and New York Ciy.
Business groups, however, weren’t buying the claims.
The Rochester-based Unshackle Upstate said the report “falls short” of a deep analysis.
“For example, it does not look at the real impacts that a 67-percent minimum wage increase will have on small businesses, family farms, non-profits, local governments and school districts,” the group’s executive director, Greg Biryla, said in a statement. “It also fails to mention any potential job losses, tax hikes or cost-of-living increases that will occur if this mandate is enacted.
“The public deserves more from the state Labor Department than a self-serving report that regurgitates the slogans of minimum wage advocates and provides unsupported assertions about how a new wage mandate will benefit businesses.”
The National Federation of Independent Businesses dismissed the report as “propaganda.”
“Small businesses across New York have continuously expressed their very real concerns on the impact of the Governor’s incessant and misguided push to increase their labor costs,” said NFIB state Director Mike Durant. “We find this alleged analysis absent the comprehensive examination worthy of such state resources.”