Friend Fights for Better Business Climate in Budget Negotiations

March 27, 2019

Today, Assemblyman Chris Friend (R,C,I-Big Flats) during the Budget Conference Committee Meeting on Economic Development fought for creating a healthier economic climate in New York State. The governor has relied heavily on his pet economic development projects and programs, such as the Buffalo Billion and Start Up-NY, which have been rife with corruption and waste.

“New Yorkers are tired of their taxpayer dollars being wasted in the state budget on the governor’s crony capitalist programs which reward friends and fail to deliver for upstate New York,” said Friend, who is also a ranking Minority member on the Assembly Committee on Economic Development. “Plain and simple, let’s fix what is broken in our business climate. Let’s reduce job-killing taxes and burdensome regulation. Doing this, we will be able to see New York’s economy thrive.”

Friend supports a number of proposals to improve the business climate in the state and reduce corruption in economic development programs, including:

  • The Small Business Full Employment Act, which would provide relief from various taxes and regulation which impede small business growth (A.4553);
  • Regionalizing Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) Requirement legislation to more accurately reflect the number of minority and women-owned businesses in an area. Currently, the state requires that 30 percent of state contracts be awarded to MWBE. For regions such as the Southern Tier, there are far fewer MWBEs, making it difficult for these local state contracts to be fulfilled by local businesses. The legislation would be a much needed adjustment for many regions throughout upstate New York (A.1237); and
  • The Economic Development Transparency and Oversight bill, which would establish an approval process to include an advisory committee on lump-sum spending of $1 million or more, would require disclosures of any conflicts of interest and prohibit any such tainted appropriations, and institute penalties when reporting on economic development is overdue, among other requirements (A.5851).