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Cuomo starts economy working group


Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a rally to raise the minimum wage at the Empire State Plaza on Tuesday, March 15, 2016. (Photo: Mike Groll, AP)

ALBANY — A newly convened business council will be reviewing the state’s economic climate and business operations.


 
The seven-member Business Regulation Council appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie will include business representatives, labor leaders and workforce advocates.

The council will meet on several occasions and host forums where business groups and labor leaders can voice concerns that the council members will then take into account when making recommendations to improve the state’s business climate, Cuomo announced.



“I look forward to receiving the council’s recommendations and I thank the members for working with us to find ways to further lower the costs of doing business and build a stronger and more prosperous New York for all,” Cuomo said in a statement.

The group comes after the Legislature and Cuomo last month agreed to install a higher minimum wage in New York, reaching $15 an hour in New York City in 2018 and in Westchester and Long Island at the end of 2021. It would rise to $12.50 an hour in the rest of the state by the end of 2020.


Business groups opposed the increases, though it was supported by unions and Democratic leaders. New York has had among the worst business climates in the nation, according to the Tax Foundation, a Washington D.C.-based fiscally conservative group.


Unshackle Upstate, a Rochester-based business group, plans on making recommendations to the council.


 

“While the remedies for improving New York’s toxic business climate are well known, there’s been a lack of political will power to make them a reality,” the group said. “We look forward to making recommendations to the council that we believe will improve New York’s business climate and promote Upstate job growth.”


The council will have to report its recommendations to Cuomo and the legislative leaders by June 3, leaving a few weeks before the end of the legislative session on June 16.
 


Here is the full list of appointees, according to the governor’s office:


  • Cuomo appointed Ted Potrikus, president and CEO of the state Retail Council; Kathryn Wylde, president and CEO of the Partnership for New York City; and Mario Cilento, president of the state American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations.
  • Flanagan appointed Heather Briccetti, president and CEO of state Business Council Inc., and Dean Norton, president of the state Farm Bureau.
  • Heastie appointed Gary LaBarbera, president of Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, and Robert Grey, chair of New York Workers’ Compensation Alliance.


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