Legislative Alert June 10th, 2013

President’s Message
Job Creation Strategy Must be Well Thought Out

The NYS AFL-CIO has been calling loudly for job creation programs over the last several years.  The fact is that our unemployment rate remains stubbornly high and the recovery has still not put enough people back to work. We applaud the casino proposal and have been working closely with the Governor and Legislature to develop other programs that will create jobs around the state.

However, the SUNY/private college tax-free proposal, is a very risky proposition.  The balance between aggressive job creation and a progressive and fair tax system is delicate. As we have seen from industrial development agencies, Empire Zones and a host of other failed economic development proposals, hastily created programs are ripe for abuse and often do nothing more than deprive our communities of much needed revenue.

Further, the fairness of any tax system is based on its progressivity. This proposal has the potential to remove from the entire tax system, which is already not progressive enough, any semblance of fairness.  To think that a married couple with children and a combined income of $30,000, $40,000 or $50,000 a year would pay taxes, while a single filer with an income of $200,000 employed in a SUNY tax free job would pay no taxes, is unthinkable.

Those individuals benefitting under this plan, as well as those with families, will use the same state and local services, schools and other programs that require state revenue.   We cannot have two classes of workers, one subsidizing the other, when it comes to the tax code.

Mario Cilento, President

Call To Action


Monday, June 10, 2013, 1:00 p.m.
100 So. Swan Street, Albany


Issue of the Week
 S. 1743-A Espaillat, et al/A. 1792-A Nolan, et al

This bill provides a comprehensive list of labor and other reforms to benefit farm labor. Collective bargaining is the marquee right extended in this bill. Other rights include the eight hour day, day of rest, as well as workers’ compensation and unemployment benefits.

All of the rights described in the bill are at least two centuries overdue. Without this bill the serf-like conditions that farm workers endure will continue to be the shame of New York State.  Agricultural workers, including those in produce, livestock, dairy, wine, beer and many other areas, perform work that has a tremendous impact on the state’s economy, food supply and overall well being. It is time that they be treated with dignity and fairness.

The time for change is upon us and this Federation urges the Legislature and Governor to act with all deliberate speed to improve the lot of agricultural workers and their families .

Keep an Eye On
Thursday, August 1, 2013—Twenty-Fourth Annual COPE Day at the Races, Saratoga.
For details go to www.nysaflcio.org

For further information contact Mike Neidl at 518-436-8516 or by email information@nysaflcio.org