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January 10, 2013

Local leaders support State of State message

(Continued)

PLATTSBURGH —

“What are people going to be talking about? They are going to be talking about those guys in the rafts, and it will be linked to the Adirondacks,” Duprey said.

“How clever is that?”

BUSINESS COSTS

Plattsburgh/North Country Chanber of Commerce President Garry Douglas liked the marketing plan, as well as the move to help businesses deal with costly mandates.

“We applaud the commitment to again avoid tax increases and to work toward cost-saving reforms in key programs such as workers comp and unemployment insurance,” Douglas said in a statement.

“We also welcome the stress on the particular needs of Upstate, including competitions for greater tourism marketing and for efforts to spin off and retain more job-creating ventures from our universities.”

MANDATE RELIEF

Kasprzak said that while he also welcomed the idea of reform for workers comp and unemployment insurance, he wished the governor had more to say about providing mandate relief to municipalities, which have been struggling to deal with the state’s property-tax cap, which was implemented in 2011.

“I was disappointed to not hear anything about mandate relief and no mention of repeal of the Triborough Amendment and binding arbitration,” he said.

The Triborough Amendment allows union contracts to stay in place once they’ve expired, and binding arbitration has arbitrators decide contract disputes between unions and municipalities.

The New York State School Boards Association also raised the issue of mandate relief.

“While the governor appears to support local control, his speech was notable for its omission of any mandate relief for schools whatsoever,” the association said in a statement.

“We realize that the State of the State is a time of vision. That’s why we eagerly await the governor’s upcoming budget proposal to see if these initiatives are supported with adequate resources.

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