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COLUMN: My session priorities for 2013

— Although we are in the midst of the holiday season, our New Year in Albany will gavel in before we know it. This year, I'm focused on getting more jobs to our state and our region. In addition, I'll be working with local individuals and my colleagues in Albany to help pass more synthetic drug laws that protect our communities and help close the loopholes federal laws have left. I also look forward to seeing a more equitable school aid formula enacted.

Economic development

I'm encouraged by the jobs index where, in general, unemployment numbers are lower. I applaud the local efforts being made to bring jobs to this area and hope to see more jobs created in Central and Northern New York. Economists predict more growth will be seen by job-creators who employ between 60 to 100 workers. This seems to be coming true with places like Teti Bakery, in Volney, which will employ about 60 workers.

At the state level, we should focus on areas that are already showing signs of growth, such as technology and value-added agriculture products such as Greek yogurt, to help more jobs come to fruition. I support legislation that would establish an Innovators Corp, which would identify and encourage the growth of technology-related businesses. The Innovators Corp would be a group of four highly-qualified professionals appointed by the Governor who could recruit, retain and expand high technology businesses within New York State. These would complement the business incubators and higher education establishments we already have here.

Starting a business comes with many risks. I support cutting all application fees for new businesses by 50 percent for the first year, eliminate business income taxes for the first year and reduce income tax rates for the second and third year. This would enhance our "New York Open for Business" motto the state has adopted. We should also establish a tax credit for patent fees and reevaluating the red tape that has become synonymous with New York.

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