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NFIB New York outlines state legislative goals for 2012

By Journal Staff

Date:

The New York state office of the national Federation of Independent business (NFIB) has set state legislative goals for this year that include regulatory relief, mandate relief, and allowing companies to extract natural gas through hydraulic fracturing.

The NFIB’s legislative goals follow a year that the group said was good for small business. The state made progress on spending controls, property taxes, and energy costs in 2011, the business organization said.

“The list of achievements for the business community was impressive this year,” NFIB New York Director Mike Durant said in a news release. “There are some big obstacles remaining, and unless the state keeps its commitment, we’ll end up back where we started.”

In 2012, New York state government should provide regulatory relief and mandate relief for small businesses, according to the NFIB. Legislators should reform workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance, the organization said.

The NFIB also wants lawmakers to follow an agenda known as “Let NY Work.” That agenda — which is endorsed by a coalition of business, school, and municipal groups — is designed to alleviate state mandates placed on schools, municipalities, and taxpayers. Easing those mandates will help keep local and state taxes under control, the NFIB said.

Let NY Work measures include acting to make the pension system more affordable, establishing minimum health-insurance contribution levels for employees and retirees, and reducing construction costs on public/private projects.

Finally, the NFIB said the state should issue permits in 2012 that will allow companies to extract natural gas using hydraulic fracturing, or hydrofracking. Gas extraction will create jobs, reduce energy costs, boost small businesses, and generate state and local revenue, NFIB contends.

“It will create tens of thousands of jobs in New York and thousands of business opportunities for our residents,” Durant said.

The NFIB is a small-business association with offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals. The organization says it aims to help small and independent business owners speak out on public policies that influence their businesses.

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