October 9, 2017
Workers’ Comp Holds Upstate Back Times Union
State Director Mike Durant wrote in an op-ed, “Additional steps need to be taken to provide employers, workers, and taxpayers with a Workers’ Compensation system that is modern, effective and affordable.”
September 26, 2017
New York Pol Proposes Bill to Ban Employers from Discriminating Against Overweight Workers New York Daily News
“This is simply a solution in search of a problem,” said Mike Durant, state director of the National Federation of Independent Businesses. “Current federal and state statutes protect against all facets of workplace discrimination. This is yet another piece of legislation that will generate frivolous lawsuits and clog NY’s already overburden court system.”
September 1, 2017
New York’s Family Leave Act Could Use Tweaking Long Island Herald
State Director Mike Durant penned an op-ed on the act and explains that employees who work 20 hours or more will now receive partially paid leave which is funded by state-mandated reductions from worker’s paychecks. NFIB opposes the law, arguing that a one-size-fits-all approach to the Family Leave Act is inappropriate and could harm many small businesses.
July 20, 2017
Tort Reform Group Champions Bill to Regulate Litigation Funding New York Law Journal
NFIB’s New York director, Mike Durant, said in an email that the organization supports the bill because it would “subject lending agreements to consumer protection interest rates and that attorneys would be prohibited from receiving referral fees from a lending company that is in connection with a plaintiff’s funding.”
April 11, 2017
There Are Gems (and Duds) in the State Budget for Business Leaders Schenectady Daily Gazette
State Director Mike Durant discusses lack of transparency for economic development funding in the state budget:
“We dole out $9 billion a year in economic development funds … and rarely do we have transparent measures of success,” said Mike Durant, state director for the National Federation of Independent Business. “You have to question, especially upstate, if this is a good use of taxpayer dollars.”
April 10, 2017
It’s Your Tardy State Budget React-O-Meter Times Union Capitol Confidential Blog
“Implementing meaningful reform to New York’s costly Workers’ Compensation program is a top priority for NFIB/NY this legislative session. We applaud the effort by members within the Senate Republican Conference for advancing necessary reforms and their commitment to ensuring these concepts were in a final budget agreement. While the final deal does not incorporate all we hoped to achieve, there was progress made to modernize the workers’ compensation system and provide savings to small business.
We are disappointed that this final agreement excluded serious reforms to provide transparency and clear measures of success with New York’s economic development investments. Additionally, we were hopeful that a final deal would incorporate tax relief specifically for small employers.
”There remain many financial and regulatory barriers that stifle small business creation and growth in New York. It is our hope that our partners in the legislature will continue to work with NFIB/NY to enact further reforms to help bolster small business.”
April 9, 2017
State Looks to Update SEQR Process Oneonta Daily Star
The State Department of Environmental Conservation is accepting public comments on draft regulations to update the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQR). The deadline for submitting comments is May 19.
“Michael Durant, director of the New York chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business, said development projects need the promise of “hard deadlines” for environmental reviews as a check on the potential for delays leading to increased costs for the investors.
He welcomed the effort to update SEQR. “There have been rumors for years that the state would do this, but this is the first time we have seen a draft,” he noted.
“It’s just common sense for New York to eliminate some of the aspects of the current law and make it more in line with what other states have,” he added.
March 31, 2017
How to Win Friends and Influence the Budget Poozer Politics
” Mike explained the budget process from A to Z and everything in between, including late media blitzes, staking out the Capitol and avoiding last-second surprises.”
March 17, 2017
Advocates on Both Sides of Tax Issues Once Again at Odds Time Warner Cable
State Director Mike Durant discussed the business community’s need for lawmakers to hold the line on taxes and include regulatory reform in a final budget agreement.
“A marquee issue for businesses: reforming the state’s workers compensation laws, a long-sought effort that has stalled.
“I think that workers comp has proven to be the number one issue for NFIB, the business community writ large,” Durant said. “We’ll definitely be pushing for meaningful reform.” “
February 10, 2017
Upstate Business Report: Wage Hike May Stymie Small Business Binghamton Press & Sun
State Director Mike Durant explained how small businesses that operate on thin margins may be forced to make tough decisions in the face of rising labor costs.
“They may not have their finite 1 to 4 percent profit margin,” said Mike Durant, New York State director of the National Federation of Independent Businesses. “They may be left with dramatically increasing prices, reducing hours of operation or switching full-time workers to part-time. It’s easy to look at minimum wage increase as increasing the salary of employees, but you also are increasing labor costs, which has a compounding effect.”
January 27, 2017
Why Small Businesses Also Hate the Bag Tax NY Post
Opinion: Mike Durant
“Why can’t our policymakers understand that New Yorkers need them to make life more affordable, not less? Small-business owners have been operating at substantially higher costs, but government has failed to make the adjustment. The bag tax has lawmakers expanding their reach into the private sector instead of cleaning up the mess they’ve created for every day New Yorkers.”
“For the owners of drug stores, groceries and convenience stores that would be burdened with implementing this new mandate, the bag tax will be one more item on a never-ending list of government requirements. They long for the day when lawmakers finally focus on making it easier and more affordable to live and work in New York.”
January 27, 2017
POLL: Upstate CEOs Bearish on Business Climate in 2017 Times Union Capitol Confidential Blog
An article reporting that a recent poll found 61% of upstate CEOs surveyed in the last quarter of 2016 think the state is doing a poor job of creating a good business climate incorporated a quote from State Director Mike Durant. He tweeted that the vast majority of small business owners would agree.
January 27, 2017
Cuomo’s Plan to Tax the Rich Doesn’t Go Far Enough, Says Assembly Democrats TWC News
The Democratic-led Assembly last week introduced a plan that would hike taxes on the rich. Tax increase supporters say that the state needs the money for schools and healthcare. Opponents, like NFIB, think that high taxes are running people out of the state. “The leadership in the Assembly has never met a tax that they didn’t want to increase or extend or create, so that’s not surprising what their agenda is,” NFIB State Director Mike Durant was quoted. “We feel that having the high earner rate, which is among the highest in the country, it’s just solidifying New York’s reputation as a high tax state, an anti-business state.”
January 19, 2017
Cuomo Budget Offers Cornucopia of Taxes, Fee Hikes Buffalo News
“Albany gets addicted to these taxes and fees, and they never go away,” said Michael Durant, director of the state chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses.
“This budget is filled with nickel-and-dime tax increases,” he added, saying the cycle of such fee and tax hikes has a long-term effect on the financial health of New York’s small businesses.
January 13, 2017
What Small Business Wants this Year New York State of Politics
“After a difficult 2016, small business owners were hopeful that Governor Cuomo’s State of the State tour would bring news of a renewed effort to bolster Main Street,” said Mike Durant, NFIB/NY State Director. “Despite the rightful focus on fiscal restraint and infrastructure modernization, there has been little advances that would restore overall confidence of New York’s small employers.”
January 9, 2017
Cuomo Talks Unity in the First State of the State Address of 2017 New York Daily News
As Governor Cuomo delivered his first State of the State address emphasizing the importance of better preparing people for technology jobs, NFIB/NY State Director Mike Durant tweeted that the “dramatic increases” in minimum wage in New York State have prompted automation.
January 7, 2017
Cuomo Wage Theft Bill to Target Out-of-State Companies New York Daily News
“The concern with proposals like this is how they are written and Albany’s track record,” Durant said. “Will this add to Albany’s anti-business reputation and prove to be more a presumption of improper behavior by employers? We shall see. It took the business community years to modify our current wage theft law because it was hastily written and implemented.” – Mike Durant