Members of the Council of Industry met today with five elected New York State officials or their surrogates at the Council’s first ever Legislative Roundtable to discuss issues facing Hudson Valley manufacturers and ways to make the region more business friendly. The legislators present included Peter D. Lopez, James Skoufis, and Frank Skartados, additionally Brian Maher was present representing William J. Larkin, JR. and Connor Gillis stood in for John Bonacic. The event also included remarks from Karyn Burns of the Manufacturers Association of Central New York (MACNY), and Council Spotlight member George Quigley, the president of ErtelAlsop Industries. The meeting comes amid a broader push by the Council to intensify its advocacy on behalf of local manufacturers. The Council of Industry wants to ensure that its members are able to have their voiced heard on the issues that most affect them.
A top priority on manufacturer’s minds was the proposed minimum wage increase to $15 an hour which dominated the event with members expressing alarm at how the mandated raise would affect their bottom lines. The panelists’s positions on the topic ranged from firm opposition to skepticism but open to learning more. Other topics discussed included the upstate downstate divide, increased investment in workforce development, and workers compensation reform to fully realize the cost savings intended to be achieved by duration caps on permanent partial disability benefits.