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Spitzer Outlines Plan to
Make New York
Best Place to Do
Business in America
New York, NY (Sept. 21, 2006) – Candidate for governor Eliot Spitzer
today outlined his comprehensive economic development strategy to make
New York the best place to do business in
America. Speaking to the New
York State Business Council, Spitzer laid out plans to reduce workers’
compensation premiums while increasing benefits for injured workers, reform
Wicks Law to reduce costs, lower the cost of health care and energy, and
streamline the regulatory system.
These proposals are aimed at making New York more
competitive. Currently, New
has the highest combined state and local tax burden in the nation. The
employer contribution for family health coverage averages $8,300 a year in
which is the fourth highest in the nation. The state’s energy costs
overall are second only to Hawaii, and despite being next door to a large supply
of cheap hydropower, electricity costs in the state are nearly sixty-three
percent above the national average. New York workers’ compensation premiums are
the eighth highest in the nation, yet the maximum benefit to workers ranks
forty-ninth nationally as a percentage of average weekly income.
“Revitalizing our state’s economy demands a major and sustained effort,” said Eliot Spitzer. “If I am
elected governor, on Day One we are going to begin implementing an aggressive
strategy to reduce the cost of doing business in New York and to make New York
the best place to do business in America.”
Before New York can
become the best place to do business in America, we must tackle the political
gridlock that has prevented necessary reforms.
“This gridlock is like the trench warfare of World War
I,” said Spitzer. “Both labor and business have dug deep trenches and have
fought bloody battles over the years. Sometimes the line moves a few feet
forward, and one side declares victory. Later, another bloody battle is fought
and the line moves a few feet back, negating any progress that may have been
made.” Spitzer added, “In the end, nothing
is accomplished. No one wins. Not labor, not business, and surely
there has been plenty of carnage, represented by lost jobs and lost
Today’s speech was the latest in a series of
speeches outlining proposals designed to revitalize
York’s economy. Spitzer has offered plans to
foster innovation and cultivate the growth of strategic industries; revitalize
cities and downtowns; and develop a transportation, energy, and broadband
Internet infrastructure that will create and support economic expansion.
This past Tuesday, Spitzer’s running mate, David Paterson, laid out a plan for
strengthening minority- and women-owned businesses.
Highlights of Spitzer’s five-part plan to help
Reduce Taxes and Reform Wicks Law
Bring $6 billion dollars in
immediate property tax relief that is fully funded by $11 billion in budget
- Address root causes of chronically high taxes. We need
to make government smarter and more efficient, reign
in unfunded mandates like Medicaid and Wicks Law, reduce prescription
drug costs, and revive the tax bases of our cities, among other
Reform the Wicks Law to
substantially reduce the cost burden on school districts and municipalities. The
Wicks Law currently increases the cost of small- to mid-size projects by as much
as 30 percent.
Increase Wicks threshold to $1
million for projects outside of New York City and
$2 million for projects within New York
Reduce Workers’ Compensation Premiums
Meaningfully reduce premiums,
while increasing benefits to most workers.
Create a Workers’ Comp Fraud
Inspector General in the model of the Inspector General for Medicaid
Reform the Second Injury Fund,
which is a large, unfunded liability that must be addressed.
Include all issues on the
table in reforming workers comp. Currently, Permanent Partial Disability
payments make up 12% of claims but account for 75% of all costs in the workers
rehabilitation and retraining programs to get workers back into the work
Substantially overhaul the
health care system under workers comp with the same rigorous approach used for
the rest of the health care system.
Reduce Energy Costs
Eliot Spitzer has proposed a
comprehensive plan to make electricity more affordable so that New York businesses are
competitive with rivals nationally and abroad.
Adding generation capacity by
passing a new power plant citing law to replace Article X.
Ensuring an efficient,
reliable and secure transmission and distribution system.
Protecting against price
shocks by diversifying our fuel portfolio.
Reducing the need for energy
through demand-side management in the form of efficiency and conservation
A Spitzer administration will also a new
Economic Development Power program to substantially reform low-cost power
programs and make a greater share of low-cost power available to users for whom
low cost power makes a significant competitive difference.
Reduce Health Care Costs
We must completely overhaul of
health care system to make health care more affordable. The plan calls for
redesigning the health care system to address the fundamental drivers of health
care costs. This includes: better management of chronic diseases, reducing
excess capacity in hospital and nursing home systems, and making community based
care available as an alternative to institutionalized nursing home
the Regulatory System
There will be renewed focus by the
Governor’s Office of Regulatory Reform will on breaking the State’s regulatory
logjam, clearer standards for meeting permitting requirements, and re-written regulations to make them
A copy of the speech can be found at