In his March 11 State of the County Address, Erie County, NY Executive Chris Collins calls out county legislators for putting Big Labor’s interest ahead of job creation.
Here’s an excerpt:
Erie County also continues to come up with creative solutions to some of our local economic development problems caused by New York State.
Because of inaction in Albany, $200 million in not-for-profit capital projects are currently stalled in Erie County.
My administration worked with attorneys at the ECIDA to find a way to help the not-for-profits move their projects forward.
Our solution was to reestablish the existing, yet dormant, Buffalo and Erie County Industrial Land Development Corporation and have it issue tax exempt bonds for our local not-for-profits.
Our proposal was an innovative way around the state’s purposeful delay and would have put people to work immediately.
Sadly, a few county legislators decided to send the proposal to committee and then led an effort to fill the resolution with protections for organized labor including Project Labor Agreements, apprenticeship programs and prevailing wage requirements.
As we see far too often in this community, too many of our elected leaders continue to cater to the special interests instead of helping create jobs and rebuild our economy.
I call on our new legislature to right this wrong and pass new legislation that will put hundreds, if not thousands, of people back to work in Erie County.
We need those jobs now.
Well put, Mr. Collins.
In this current economic climate, lawmakers at every level must focus on putting people to work, not giving handouts to politically connected interest groups.
Full text of the address is available here.