Last Thursday, Gov. Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Flanagan and Assembly Speaker Heastie announced that they have created a temporary Business Regulation Council that will conduct “a comprehensive review of New York State’s business climate.” The Council will make recommendations on additional ways to decrease the cost of doing business in the state while not compromising protections in place for working men and women.

Watch Unshackle Upstate executive director Greg Biryla discuss the commission and its prospects on Capital Tonight with Liz Benjamin.

The Governor’s appointments to the Council are Mario Cilento, President of the New York State AFL-CIO; Ted Potrikus, President and CEO of the Retail Council of New York State; and Kathryn Wylde – President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City.  Senate Majority Leader Flanagan’s appointees are Heather Briccetti, President and CEO of the Business Council of New York State; and Dean Norton, President of the New York Farm Bureau.  Assembly Speaker Heastie’s appointees are Gary LaBarbera, President of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York; and Robert Grey, Chair, New York Workers’ Compensation Alliance.

Among the issues the Council will consider are unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, temporary disability insurance, energy, taxes and other business related costs. It will conduct a series of forums and meetings, and will make recommendations to the Governor, the Senate Majority Leader and the Assembly Speaker by June 3rd so that they can be considered during the 2016 legislative session.

There is no mystery as to what ails New York’s business climate; there has simply been a lack of political will power to change the status quo. We plan to make recommendations to the council that we believe will improve New York’s business climate and promote Upstate job growth.