For additional details about the Assembly’s Jobs Agenda 2001,
click here
View Points 2001 Banner

From the New York State Assembly   Black Square   Sheldon Silver, Speaker
Robin Schimminger, Chairman, Economic Development Committee
Robert Sweeney, Chairman, Small Business Committee

Assembly Unveils Job Creation Plan
Assembly Majority Jobs Agenda 2001 Boosts the Main Street Economy Left Behind by Governor Pataki’s Policies

To help businesses succeed in our new economy and create the good jobs New York families need, the Assembly is launching Jobs Agenda 2001. This plan is part of our budget resolution and draws from the strengths of our state’s unique regional economies –– reflecting the need for flexibility in tailoring economic development efforts across the state.

We must move aggressively to address the needs of New York businesses and provide the tools that will help them succeed. The Assembly has been consistently working to create jobs and revitalize our economy.

Our Jobs 2000 plan invested in high-tech industries, academic research, and work force training. Our Power for Jobs program brought low-cost power to thousands of job-creating businesses across the state. We transformed existing economic development zones into tax-free Empire Zones to give businesses the tax breaks they need. We reduced the small business S-Corporation tax rate, saving $20 million annually. And we worked to eliminate the Gross Receipts Tax on employers’ energy bills, saving businesses over $300 million each year.

But more must be done to help businesses succeed in the new economy and create new jobs –– especially in our struggling upstate communities.

The Governor’s failed economic development policies

The Governor’s economic development policies have failed to capitalize on the longest economic expansion in history. The Governor claims the upstate economy has turned the corner, but the facts tell a different story.

New York’s competitiveness with other states has weakened steadily over the past five years, according to a recent report by the Citizen’s Budget Commission (CBC), a nonpartisan government watchdog group.

Comparing New York to neighboring states, and other large states like California and Texas, the study found New York on the losing end when it comes to the size of our economy, population, technological development and entrepreneurship.

Since 1995, State employment has grown at only about two-thirds of the national rate. If New York had kept pace with the nation since 1995, there would be approximately 384,200 more jobs for working families today. If we had grown as fast as Florida, Texas, or California, we would have generated much more than one million new jobs.

While Wall Street is booming, other communities have been left far behind

There are huge economic disparities among different parts of the state. When it comes to employment growth, New York State ranked 19th in the nation last year. But if upstate were a separate state, it would rank only 33rd, while downstate would rank 15th.

Upstate employment growth (1.5%) fell nearly a full percentage point below the downstate growth (2.2%) in the first half of 2000. The disparities are even greater when you look closer, at regional economies. For example, Western New York saw virtually no growth in 1998 and grew by only .4% in the first half of 2000, compared to 1.5% for upstate as a whole and 2.0% statewide.

Employment has been strong in New York City, but the rate of growth in Manhattan was at least twice that of the Bronx, Richmond, and Queens counties during the first half of 2000.

The State’s dependence on Wall Street, rather than Main Street, has had real consequences for average, hardworking families

The gap between the incomes of middle-class working families and the richest New Yorkers continues to widen. Median household income declined from above the national average in 1989 to below that now. And New York’s employment gains have been concentrated in low-wage jobs.

Clearly, the Governor’s top-down, project-by-project, one size fits all economic development policies are not working.

The Assembly has a 7-point plan to overhaul New York’s economic and job-creation strategies

The Assembly Majority’s Jobs Agenda 2001 would bring prosperity to all families and communities across the state, by:

Redefining New York’s role in assisting businesses

New York has lost thousands of jobs in recent years to states that have moved more aggressively to respond to the needs of the business community. The Governor’s policies have been slow to embrace the potential that scientific discovery holds in this “new economy” and slow to respond to the needs of the State’s diverse and regional economies. That’s why the Assembly supports eliminating state bureaucracy and moving economic development decisions to the regional and local level.

Investing in partnerships between universities and industries communities

The collaboration between small businesses and university-based research institutions can lead to improved technology and limitless economic opportunity. Jobs 2001 would encourage this collaboration by helping establish university-based technology centers that build industrial partnerships, establish educational and training programs, and conduct basic and applied research. The proposal would also help develop business facilities that offer affordable, flexible space for new companies and support the growth of industry partnerships that help smaller firms prosper.

Investing in programs that revitalize

To keep our economy strong, we must assure that local communities are centers of commercial growth. Our plan would assist communities in planning and implementing revitalization strategies –– from promoting high-tech jobs to large-scale commercial development. The plan would also identify and help rehabilitate downtown structures to accommodate new high-tech businesses.

Reviving manufacturing

For New York’s manufacturers to remain competitive in a global economy and continue to provide stable employment opportunities, they must be able to quickly adapt to rapidly changing technology. Jobs 2001 would fund industrial retention programs to assist companies in need of support. Our plan also provides incentives for the development and renovation of industrial space.

Promoting a work force for the new economy

We must ensure that the jobs of the future are available to all New Yorkers and that they pay good wages in a safe work environment. A workforce that can adapt and acquire new skills rapidly is critical to achieving economic growth. Our workforce agenda starts with a strong commitment to higher standards in education. It would also fund school-to-work partnerships involving education and businesses, internships in high-tech industries, and the Strategic Training Alliance Program.

Revitalizing tourism

Tourism remains one of the most powerful forces in New York’s economic engine –– and is responsible for over 765,000 jobs around the state. The Assembly proposal calls for an improved local and regional approach to market our state and promote tourism. It would coordinate and enhance the promotion of New York by investing in various types of tourism –– including regional, local, sports and cultural tourism.

Encouraging entrepreneurs and small business growth

Small businesses continue to drive New York’s economy. In fact, small businesses are responsible for over 89% of all New York’s businesses and over 53% of New York’s work force.

Jobs 2001 will help provide small businesses with financial aid and technical assistance. Specifically, the plan includes $1 million for Entrepreneurial Assistance Program Centers (EAP’s) that provide vital assistance to minorities, women, and persons with disabilities in starting and growing a small business.

The proposal would also provide $1 million in funding to provide incentives to banks to increase lending to small businesses.

Ongoing efforts to build a brighter future for our families and communities

Together these initiatives join a long list of Assembly-driven measures aimed at making New York a better, more affordable place to live, work, raise a family and operate a business. Since 1994, the Assembly Majority has adopted nearly $13 billion in tax cuts to promote a better business climate in New York State. By 2005, these tax cuts will save individuals and businesses over $15 billion.

Again this year the Assembly is following through on its commitment to working families and businesses across the state. Our new economic development and tax relief initiatives will revitalize New York’s economy and ensure its prosperity well into the 21st Century.

For additional details, click here to see the Assembly’s report entitled "Jobs Agenda 2001."

NEW SERVICE AVAILABLE: The Assembly Internet Information Service is now available to those interested in receiving timely legislative updates by e-mail. To subscribe to this new service, please drop us a line at, indicating your area of interest.

(The Assembly Internet Information Service will not release, sell or give away a subscriber’s e-mail address, name or any other information provided without express permission from the subscriber. Each e-mail notice or newsletter will contain simple instructions for removing your name from the mailing list if you decide you no longer wish to subscribe.)

New York State Assembly
[ Welcome Page ] [ Committee Updates ]