“Some of these mandates were put there for good reason,” she said.
She pointed to Tier 6 savings and the governor’s pension-smoothing proposal — where communities can pay a fixed rate over time — as forms of future mandate relief. And she said that school districts can seek waivers from certain special-education reporting requirements.
“For relief to occur takes time,” Scozzafava said.
The governor is proposing raising the minimum wage in the state from $7.25 per hour to $8.75. The move has hit stiff resistance from the business community so far.
Scozzafava said that most states that border New York have higher minimum wages, and the governor wants to bring New York more in line with them.
An increase would also mean people would have more disposable income, which should help local economies, she said.
She believes some kind of increase will be approved.
“The last time it happened (2009), we survived it.
“I think the governor has a pretty good track record on getting his legislative highlighted agenda passed.”
At the North Country Chamber of Commerce Legislative Breakfast on Friday, Chamber President Garry Douglas also indicated a minimum-wage hike was probably inevitable.
“We remain officially opposed to it,” he said, “but with a growing resignation” that it will happen.
He said chamber officials hope the increase will be phased in and that it will be “balanced with other cost relief for small businesses.”
Email Joe LoTemplio: firstname.lastname@example.org