BINGHAMTON, NY – Local business leaders gathered to discuss the impact of new state laws and regulations on their individual sectors, and the news was mostly grim.
The Greater Binghamton Chamber held an Eggs and Issues seminar Friday at the Holiday Inn Binghamton examining the last legislative session in Albany.
Chief among the concerns were new stricter regulations on farm workers, making them eligible for overtime, mandating periods of rest and allowing them to unionize.
Agriculture advocates say it could have a devastating effect on the survival of farms in our region.
Michael Kracker , Executive Director of Unshackle Upstate, says rising minimum wages are hurting businesses as well.
“The unemployment rate being down is a positive sign, but I don’t think it tells the whole picture of an economy in Upstate New York that is still continuing to struggle. And new mandates, like labor increases, are adding to that problem, not making it better,” says Kracker.
Kracker says one factor in lower unemployment numbers Upstate are the number of workers moving out of the state.
One bright spot for the business sector was the passage earlier this year of a permanent 2 percent property tax increase cap.