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COLUMN: Manufacturers in need of incentives; undoing costly mandates

— I wanted to update you on a few matters this week. This is a busy time of year in Albany. I’ve met with many people across New York State and throughout the district recently and I wanted to bring you up to date on some items of interest.

Manufacturers in need of incentives, workers

This week I participated in a panel discussion in Albany concerning manufacturing in the state, which was organized by Manufacturers Association of Central New York. I was among six lawmakers on the panel. It was informative to hear some of the discussion. I share many of their concerns, such as lowering the cost of doing business in this state, starting with providing more affordable energy. These employers are a key to a strong, local economy.

One of the concerns they voiced to the panel was the need for a skilled workforce. I support legislation that would bridge the gap between educators and local jobs, particularly starting at the high school level. I also sponsor legislation that would reward businesses that invest in their employees by providing tax credits for employers who provide on-the-job training and assist employees with higher education expenses. There is some federal funding available this year for on-the-job training but we should create more policies at the state level to assist employers. Training workers with employable skills continues to be vital but this does not come free. I applaud some of what the state has done in improving its online job search tools in its attempt to better match employers with potential employees. The improved labor site was launched late last year and can be accessed at labor.ny.gov/home/

Wage Theft Prevention update

The Senate recently passed legislation that removes burdensome mandates for businesses. It is time for the Assembly to pass this important legislation, of which I am a sponsor. This bill would repeal costly and redundant paperwork that requires businesses to provide in writing an annual statement of their pay rate or face a fine. This information is already included on an employee’s pay stub. I was pleased to see the Senate take action in eliminating this unnecessary mandate on job creators. Forcing employers to send out an annual notice like this is redundant and creates an extra expense for companies. I encourage my colleagues in the Assembly to bring this to a vote on the floor.

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