Greater Binghamton business leaders meet with elected officials to discuss local issues

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Congresswoman Tenney was one of more than a dozen elected officials representing our area to attend Wednesday morning’s Legislative Breakfast organized by the Greater Binghamton Chamber.

Lawmakers and executives were spread among the tables sitting with local business leaders so that they could discuss issues of local importance.

There was also a guest speaker, EJ McMahon, the founder and research director of the Empire Center, a pro-business, non-profit, non-partisan public policy think tank based in Albany.

McMahon says Greater Binghamton’s economy is in dire need of a significant turn around.

“It’s been starved for economic growth.  In fact, it’s shrinking.  It’s probably the largest metro area in the state that, in absolute terms, has been shrinking for years.  There are 15% fewer private sector jobs in the Binghamton metro area now than there were in 2000,” said McMahon.

McMahon says public officials often try to mistakenly substitute economic development for a better overall business climate.

Rather than a series of sweetheart deals, McMahon says the state needs lower taxes, less burdensome regulation, better infrastructure, and a way to address the legacy costs of public employee pension and retirement healthcare plans.

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