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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.