Last Wednesday, Unshackle Upstate board members, chamber and association staff, and employer representatives visited Albany so that we could bring Upstate’s  message directly to lawmakers as they begin the process of enacting the 2017-18 state budget.

We had a number of very productive meetings regarding the need for Workers Compensation reforms to reduce employers costs; calling for changes to the Governor’s ‘Buy American’ proposal that would harm critical cross-border trade relationships with Canadian businesses; our support for legalizing ride hailing throughout the state; and opposing any new prevailing wage mandates.

While there is a still a lot of time left in the state’s budget-making process for this year, our initial round of meetings with Senate Majority John Flanagan, Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle’s staff, Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb and other lawmakers were a good first step. We will be continuing our advocacy efforts on the issues described above and others as budget negotiations move forward.