Press-Republican

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February 13, 2013

Business coalition leaders outline budget issues

(Continued)

PLATTSBURGH —

Another provision would allow the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York to issue bonds to create a program to purchase liabilities caused by defaults by self-insured trusts. The measure would also eliminate mandatory deposits to the Aggregate Trust Fund. It was originally meant to cover workers in the event that an insurance carrier defaulted, which is now covered by the Workers’ Compensation Guarantee Fund.

Other proposals include closure of the Reopened Case Fund and transfer of assessment reserves held by the State Insurance Fund to the Workers’ Compensation Board, which could release up to $250 million for general operating purposes and up to $500 million for capital purposes.

“Overall, these changes are expected to save about $900 million a year,” Sampson said.

MINIMUM WAGE

While both coalitions are opposed to the minimum-wage increase to $8.75 an hour from $7.25, they realize the votes are in place for its passage.

Pokalsky said it is expected to cost businesses about $1.3 billion a year.

The Earned Income Tax Credit is a more effective way to help those who earn less, his organization believes.

They will fight to gain something to counter the effects of the increase, he said, such as asking that it be phased in. 

REGIONAL VOICES

North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas said many of the new ideas resulted from the Chairman’s Committee for the Regional Economic Development Council Program, which has about 40 members, including the co-chairs of each regional council, and labor and business leaders.

“That gives each region more of a voice in developing these policy decisions,” he said.

Email Dan Heath: dheath@pressrepublican.com

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TO LEARN MORE

For more information about the coalitions, visit www.bcnys.org or www.unshackleupstate.com.

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