“This is going to be our new normal when the government allows us to come back. So, I am giving it a go.”
“This is going to be our new normal when the government allows us to come back. So, I am giving it a go.”
“If I’m not making money, if I can’t sustain rent on 2,400 square feet, plus utilities, then it’s no longer a benefit for me to keep the business as it was running.”
After rejecting bill to reopen real estate industry, Wolf issues guidelines to accomplish the same goal
Construction has already started on a $350 million, 3.8 million square foot distribution center, where employees will work alongside robots to fulfill smaller customer orders.
Pa. is only state in nation where real estate is on hold during coronavirus
PA business owners share stories of evolving, sometimes contradictory, guidance from state
The state’s unemployment benefits agency continues to deal with “an avalanche of claims.”
“Going out there and saying ‘support your local economy’ is going to make you look bad if at the same time you are saying ‘put your kids in danger.’”
“There’s a lot of people who think nothing will happen to them, and keep getting together, keep having parties.”
How this business qualified for a waiver is unclear from just the information DCED posted on its website.
“It wasn’t about getting masks out to the public. It was about saving his company and making as much money as possible.”
As sales to restaurant clients dried up, oyster farmer Peter Stein had to adapt or perish. Now, he’s delivering oysters directly to individual customers, doing about 20% of his usual business.
Many of these companies have already instituted a variety of protocols to keep workers safe.
Help with refinancing debt could help shale companies in PA
They are particularly at risk of serious complications or death if they get the coronavirus, but if they refuse to work, they could lose their job and unemployment.
The state issued 12,826 denials and 11,635 businesses were told that their request did not require an exemption.
“They are all feeling very ready to get back to work. Most of them are in the process of trying to develop plans to get there.”
The governor says the state cannot widely enforce its worker safety order.
The stores will be limited to no more than 25 people, including employees, in a store at any one time.
Maxwell Kirsner built sets for big events. Then he, his fiancée and their coworkers were laid off. Kirsner says he’s optimistic the city will make it back, but he’s worried how long that will take.
Visits to any dealership will be by appointment only, and a number of safety precautions will be monitored to keep dealers and buyers safe.
“Is this the new normal in terms of what we’re going to do in terms of shutting down the economy?”
Democrats backing the bill say the White House has not fully utilized the power of the federal government, which has left hospitals and health care workers shorted in many places.
The state in mid-April ordered all essential employers to provide protections, but some workers say they’ve seen little change.
The entire state is in the red status until Friday.
“You’d rather have a controlled start, so that you don’t have to stop. You reopen too fast, then you have to stop.”
“I think in the aftermath of COVID-19, and hopefully it happens sooner than we think, virtual job fairs are going to become the rule and not the exception.”
Local businesses are coming up with plans for restarting, but how and when they go into effect are still an unknown.
“You rely on your state to bail you out and you can’t get any answers.”
Republicans in legislature want details on how state handled business requests to remain open during coronavirus closures
“We’re deemed essential on the backside, but not on the revenue side.”
“The state is considering a deferral for all companies that have job creation requirements as part of economic development packages.”
“I believe that they are scared. If you listen to a lot of what’s going on [on the news], it’s a lot of overkill, on the fear factor.”
“It’s another Monday, and it’s another end-the-shutdown bill.”
“I’m one to look at the half-full glass … but now I’m looking at which customers of ours are going to survive.”
“As we begin to rethink and restart the economy, projects like this can really help transform communities in a very positive way.”
“Ultimately, the virus is going to set the timeline, not us.”
“We need to be, I think, taking a look at the data, and working with not only the health professionals, but also the business community.”
PA POST – Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf says it’s time to start talking about reopening the state’s economy, but during a Friday afternoon news conference, he avoided providing dates for when he will lift restrictions on Pennsylvania residents and businesses. “Unfortunately, we cannot flip a switch and reopen the commonwealth,” Wolf said. “There isn’t going to be one big day. We need to make smart, data-driven decisions, and we can’t be impulsive. We can’t be emotional.”
Starting next week, Wolf said he plans to describe specific steps for lifting restrictions in Pennsylvania. Those steps will follow guidelines released by the Wolf administration on Friday that emphasize a data-driven approach to create quantifiable criteria and take into account conditions in different regions of the state.
To meet the demand, the plant has delayed upgrades and maintenance on its equipment, reduced the number of products it makes, and reassigned non-manufacturing employees to positions on the production line.
“Still a majority, 57%, say right now the government of the state of New York should concentrate on public health and not on trying to reopen the economy.”
“Reopening businesses too early will only extend the length of the economic hardships created by the pandemic.”
The recent flattening of the state’s coronavirus case count must stay on course.
For almost every tactile experience in the pre-COVID-19 world, there is now an online analog.
“We can now focus on executing our strategy to drive operational efficiencies and position our business for long-term growth.”
“There’s no way I personally want to be responsible for one of our members dying from this or one of their family members.”
The action comes nearly one month after Wolf ordered more than 100 types of “non-life-sustaining” businesses to close or face fines and other penalties.
New Pennsylvania unemployment data shows the coronavirus shutdown has been felt most acutely on a per-capita basis in some of the most rural counties.
“We want it ASAP, but we want it smart. Not political.”
“For making protective masks and hospital gowns … you can’t make that out of wishful thinking, you have to have actual fabric.”
“Now is not the time to ease up on strong mitigation tactics that can help flatten the curve and ease the burden likely to be placed on our healthcare system.”
“Is the world paying attention to this?”
“You want to act like everything is normal, you want to look your brightest…even though that might be a facade.”
“Knowing the process of distillation and how long it takes, I was looking at my barrels and I just thought to myself this would be a great way to help our local community.”
“It’s absolutely crucial that we get this money to people now, for the hospitals now, and for people on the frontlines now, that being individuals.”
“It’s going to be a whole new world on how we’re going to man a job here…until this virus is completely behind us.”
State leads nation in percentage of workforce seeking benefits
Kodak has shipped 40,000 gallons of the isopropyl alcohol over the last week, shipping it in tanker loads from its Eastman Business Park facility.
The Commonwealth’s unemployment compensation program saw more than 378,900 claims filed during the week ending March 21 — 6 percent of the workforce.
The Pennsylvania Governor says the state Department of Community and Economic Development will not respond to open records requests for the foreseeable future,
A Nobel prize-winning economist on what it might take to get our economy growing again.
The governor says he has absolutely “no second thoughts” about ordering a complete shut down of businesses this week.
“People still have dirty clothes.”
“The federal government should order factories to manufacture masks, gowns, ventilators. The essential medical equipment that’s going to make a difference between life and death.”
Wegmans says it needs the additional off-hours to help restock and clean the stores.
“It’s time to hold corporations accountable when they work against the interests of hard-working Americans.”
Amo Houghton, the former Congressman who also had led Corning Incorporated for a number of years, has died at the age of 93.
When some fast-food workers in New York went on strike one morning in 2012, they had no idea it was the beginning of an unusual movement that would propel an economic revolution.
“They’re going to have a mess on their hands when this really goes into effect. There’s going to be some clean up on aisle three.”
The bank says it will shed nearly 15% of its workforce and $100 billion in investments as it refocuses on growth markets in Asia and reduces operations in Europe and the U.S.
Instead, the New York Attorney General says her office hopes to work with all parties to make sure consumers get the best pricing and service possible.
The study found the wine and grape industry in New York directly creates 71,950 jobs, generating $2.79 billion in wages and $6.65 billion in direct economic impact.
“There is no doubt that reducing the mobile market from four to three will be bad for consumers, bad for workers, and bad for innovation.”
Overrides are rare, and can only happen when two-thirds of the legislature are willing to support a bill against the governor’s explicit wishes. The last one happened a decade ago.
Opponents of cashless stores say they discriminate against low-income, homeless and undocumented people.
“Too many corporations are increasing their profits at the expense of the employee.”
Plastics build-out could conflict with governor’s climate goals
The grocery chain is getting an early start on the state-wide ban, which begins in March.
Many Americans who get overwhelmed by student loan debt are told student debt can’t be erased through bankruptcy. Now more judges and lawyers say that’s a myth and bankruptcy can help.
Many cannabis companies saw their stock prices soar in the first few months of 2019, only to see their valuations collapse.
“If we had pre-clearance, that gateway could be used a lot more easily, creating economic growth, bringing dollars, bringing jobs and money to the entire Western New York economy.”
“They have a lot of good benefits available to employees. But most of them don’t come into effect until one of two years into employment.”
Goodwill of the Finger Lakes will remove the single-use bags from all of its Rochester and Syracuse area stores on Saturday, February 1. That’s a month ahead of the state-imposed ban which takes effect March 1.
Leading into 2020, the hourly minimum wage for workers in upstate New York will rise to $11.80. For tipped workers, it will be $7.85 an hour.
State regulators have released new rules to enforce the changes, but groups on both sides of the issue say those rules are flawed.
The proposed Department of Labor rule notes that it could allow employers to save some money by letting tipped and non-tipped workers pool their pay.
There are new guidelines from the federal government that could help hemp farmers in New York state expand their operations. WXXI’s Randy Gorbman explains:
If the latest poll from Siena College is any indication, New Yorkers are feeling a bit better about their personal finances than they did a year ago.
The boom that helped make the U.S. the world’s largest oil producer could be ending. Oil prices are down amid weak demand and investors no longer seem willing to write the industry a blank check.
Central New York’s emerging drone industry is taking some major steps forward, as construction of the infrastructure is complete for the unmanned traffic management drone corridor.
Two Democratic state lawmakers have introduced a bill that would give customers in cafes, fast food shops and even in some restaurants, the option to use their own container for coffee, water, or to bring home left overs.
“I made fun of my husband for the thought of going his early, but apparently he wasn’t alone.”
The state estimates that most jobs created in the next decade will require workers to use computers, and many opportunities will be STEM-related.
Wegmans’ next big store opening is in late October, when it opens its first New York City location in Brooklyn .
“The benefit is there’s employment in the area. But the rest of the town’s neglected and I don’t feel our town of Grangemouth benefits as much as it should, with an oil refinery on our doorstep.”
The massive refinery and petrochemical complex in Grangemouth, Scotland, run by INEOS, was one of the first overseas plants to receive Pennsylvania ethane.
Meanwhile, environmental groups like the Chesapeake Bay Foundation say the move is an “assault” on clean water.
The head of Pennsylvania’s Manufacturer’s Association said he supports the president’s trade tactics.
The facility is part of what industry boosters hope will be a new plastics and chemical manufacturing base in the upper Ohio Valley, but many residents here worry about the heat-trapping gases and plastic waste.
“It was really difficult because when you’re trying to run a business and you can’t have a bank account, it doesn’t really work.”
Walmart is expanding a program for food stamp recipients to buy groceries online and pick them up in stores. It’s the latest move to give them more options in the era of online shopping.
The gambling is restricted to in-person bets at a casino’s designated sports lounge, as opposed to online or through mobile devices.
The deal puts the auction house, which was founded in 1744, on a path to becoming a private company again.
“When it comes to corporate power, bigger isn’t always better,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said. The plaintiffs say the proposed merger would limit competition and lead to higher prices.
That price tag includes all of the book megachain’s debt. Elliott’s acquisition of the largest retail bookseller in the U.S. comes less than a year after it bought Waterstones, the largest in the U.K.
Jobless rates can range significantly from one metropolitan area to another–from a low of 2.9 percent in Gettysburg and State College, to a high of 4.7 in East Stroudsburg and the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre-Hazelton metro.
Coal-fired power plants keep closing and communities around the country must decide what to do with those sites. Pennsylvania has a plan, aiming to create new jobs where the old ones have been lost.
A newly-extended tax on online retailers is one of the biggest boons to Pennsylvania’s bottom line. About $165 million came directly from online sales–money the commonwealth previously couldn’t recoup.
The supermarket chain wants to get ahead of the curve because of the transition that will be needed to get customers accustomed to using the reusable shopping bags.
More than half of New Yorkers say they’re better off financially than they were a year ago.
The new play, about the rise and fall of Lehman Brothers, digs deep into the company’s history — beginning with the original brothers, Bavarian immigrants who opened a store in Alabama in the 1840s.
By this time next year, single use plastic bags will be officially banned in New York State. But this new rule has some wondering, will we just end up with a paper bag problem?
“I believe it was a form of government corruption. And I want to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
“Two thirds, 67 percent say it was bad for the state. It’s across the board. 64 percent of city voters, 69 percent of downstate suburban voters.”
For the second year in a row, state House Republicans are trying to pass a bill that would require union employers to let new hires know they can opt out of collective bargaining.
New York could become the third state to ban the sale of certain animals in pet stores.
New York’s apple industry has about a 21 percent higher economic impact than traditional studies have found.
The heads of four U.S. companies are lobbying for a law requiring background checks on all gun purchases. One of them, the founder of TOMS shoes, concedes his company will lose business as a result.
A week after the Amazon deal in Queens died, New York lawmakers want states to agree to stop using taxpayer money to lure big businesses.The legislators are proposing a measure that would form an interstate compact to end what they call excessive “corporate welfare” for large companies.
U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wants the Mohawk Valley to be at the center of one of the next big things in the world of technology: quantum computing. And researchers at SUNY Polytechnic Institute and Rome Labs are already working on it.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo had engineered the deal, along with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. But he was criticized by some local residents, progressive groups and politicians who represent the area.
Canadian researchers are studying how to help prevent the spread of this fish
Ed Stack is a gun owner who was a longtime Republican donor. A year after Dick’s Sporting Goods became an unlikely corporate face of gun control, it sees the fallout from its policy and lobbying.
A backlog on the federal level is hurting local brewers. Sen. Chuck Schumer brought that message to Rochester’s Genesee Brewery on Monday. Schumer said brewers are heavily regulated and must file applications with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau in order to release new flavors, update labels or change the size of a bottle.
A report in the Washington Post says Amazon is considering pulling out of a deal to build its New York City headquarters, due to opposition from state and city elected officials who represent the Queens district where the company wants to build.
Republicans say they’re keeping an open mind—but their initial reactions indicate the hike may be a pipe dream.
Thanks to a law passed two years ago, Pennsylvania’s Independent Fiscal Office is now required to periodically create what are known as performance-based budget reports on state agencies–basically, analyses measuring program funding against actual outcomes.
Many residents of the Queensbridge public housing development feel they have not benefited much from the area’s booming development. With Amazon, activists are trying to change that story.
Consumers are still quite optimistic in New York State, with a number of them planning to buy big-ticket items like homes and cars in the months ahead. That’s according to the latest quarterly survey on consumer sentiment put out by Siena College.
Wegmans has begun hiring staff for its long-awaited New York City store. The Rochester-based supermarket chain is hiring 500 people for the store that will open at the Brooklyn Navy Yard sometime this fall.
Natural gas companies must pay millions of dollars in outstanding impact fees to the state, following a recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling.
Airbnb hosts in the Finger Lakes region earned almost $10 million through the app in 2018.
With the Dow swinging up and down hundreds of points in a day, investors are feeling queasy. One economist says uncertainty in the stock markets may mean turbulence will continue in the new year.
Minimum wage workers across New York State are getting a raise. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said it shows government can make a difference in people’s lives, but central New York businesses are mixed on its impact.
The minimum wage will increase on or around January 1 in 20 states and 21 cities, impacting millions of American workers. Twenty-nine states will have set minimum wages above the federal level.
In 2015, Andrew Tarlow shifted three of his restaurants to a tip-free model, raising his employees’ wages and menu prices. This week, though, he switched back.
“In fact, we’re growing faster outside the [San Francisco] Bay Area than within it,” says Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat, a senior vice president of both Google and its parent company, Alphabet.
“We’re not dead yet, we’ve still got a pulse in Mahanoy City. Thank God Trump lifted all the regulations on coal…coal is gonna be king.”
Nexstar’s $4.1 billion deal to acquire Tribune Media’s 42 stations would give it a presence in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Even after shedding some stations, Nextar would exceed rival Sinclair.
Pennsylvania is in the midst of launching its sports betting industry–becoming part of the first wave of states to do so.
NPR’s Scott Simon reflects on Amazon’s plan to open a headquarters in New York. It has prompted an unlikely coalition to unite in opposition, because of tax breaks and subsidies the company will get.
Amazon is expected to divide its second headquarters between the Long Island City neighborhood in Queens and the Crystal City area in Northern Virginia, according to a person familiar with the plan.
ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – Officials with Tops Markets say that a federal bankruptcy court has confirmed the company’s plan of reorganization and the supermarket chain expects to complete its restructuring and emerge from Chapter 11 shortly.
The surprising decision to divide the win is an anticlimactic ending for a much-hyped, Olympic-style search. The plan promised up to 50,000 new high-paying jobs and drew 238 bids.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – At an oil and gas conference in Pittsburgh Wednesday, Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler touted the Trump administration’s moves to roll back over 70 environmental regulations, telling the crowd the rollbacks will make America’s air and water cleaner while keeping the economy booming.
BUFFALO, NY (WBFO) – President Donald Trump on Monday hailed a tentative agreement involving the United States, Canada and Mexico that would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement.
ALBANY, NY (WSKG) – The state Comptroller, Tom DiNapoli, is out with his annual report on Wall Street profits, and he finds, not surprisingly, they are up.
BUFFALO, NY (WBFO) – Shares of Tesla lost approximately nine percent of their value Friday, as the high-tech company moves forward amid concerns including a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation, comments made by founder Elon Musk and a report that Tesla may not, after all, purchase all the output from the Buffalo-based factory it now shares with Panasonic.
Hudson Yards, on the West Side of Manhattan, is on the cusp of opening its slew of office space, retail stores, condos and more.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – In a rare move for Republican lawmakers, U.S. Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick of Bucks County and Carlos Curbelo of Florida have teamed up to introduce a climate change bill — a big one.
ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – What some may have once written off as a pipe dream is about to get real for a small western New York city.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – President Trump wants more natural gas exported to Europe. Liquified natural gas plays a significant role in the trade deal with the European Union, and the president wants Europe to buy less from Russia.
ALBANY, NY (WSKG) – Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s economic development programs have been the subject of two federal corruption trials that ended with convictions for two of Cuomo’s former associates.
ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – A top state regulator has some harsh words for Charter Communications, the company that sells Spectrum cable and internet services.
States will reap billions after a major ruling that says states may now impose sales taxes on Internet retailers, even ones out of state and with no physical presence in the state.
ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has announced legislation that would designate manufacturing hubs across New York State and the country.
ALBANY, NY (WSKG) – On Monday, prosecutors present the second of two corruption cases against former associates of Gov. Andrew Cuomo in federal district court in Manhattan.
A Russian-owned steel mill in Mercer County, Pa., is seeking an exemption from the tariffs. Some workers at the mill backed Trump but now fear their jobs could be in jeopardy because of his policies.
SYRACUSE, NY (WRVO) – Organizations that help impoverished central New Yorkers get an education, find jobs or decent housing are getting a boost from a pot of state money meant to help the poor.
Starbucks closed thousands of stores across the country Tuesday for racial bias training. The sessions were closed to the public, but the company hosted an event for reporters in New York.
Stacey Cunningham, who started her career at the exchange as a summer intern on the ground floor, has been appointed to lead the Big Board starting Friday.
KEYSTONE CROSSROADS – A few months before he was assassinated, Martin Luther King Jr. launched the Poor People’s Campaign, an effort to end poverty in the U.S. Today, more than 50 years later – under the leadership of the Rev. William J. Barber of North Carolina and Dr. Liz Theoharis of New York – activists are reigniting the civil rights leader’s unfinished fight.
ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is traveling the state promoting bipartisan legislation that would support small businesses. The Main Street Employee Ownership Act would help companies transition to employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), or cooperatives.
HARRISBURG, PA (WSKG) — The US Supreme Court has voted to lift a ban on sports gambling, saying the decades-old law is overreach by the federal government.
KEYSTONE CROSSROADS – In a plush, wood-paneled meeting room that’s likely seen its share of erudition, Zartman slides a book cover onto the projector’s flat service and reads the title aloud: “Betty Bunny Wants Everything.”
A judge in New York said Trump Place, a condominium building on Manhattan’s West Side, can remove the Trump name from the building if enough residents agree.
SYRACUSE, NY (WRVO) – The New York State Department of Labor is holding hearings across the state to gather input on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to eliminate minimum wage tip credits. Many restaurant workers who attended a hearing in Syracuse said they are against the plan.
ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – Wegmans is responding to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposal this week to ban single-use plastic bags.
STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – Gasoline prices in Pennsylvania will likely hit the $3-per-gallon mark this week, their highest level since 2014.
In New York City, the streaming giant announced changes to its mobile app that the company hopes will lure even more users worldwide to its free tier.
Abuse of opioid drugs has cost the U.S. a lot of money in a number of ways. That includes a big impact on business, particularly the construction industry.
HARRISBURG, PA (WSKG) — Trump appointee Linda McMahon made stops in midstate Pennsylvania Tuesday to promote efforts the Small Business Administration is making to pump money to business owners.
SYRACUSE, NY (WRVO) – North Country Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Willsboro) says she is extremely concerned about President Donald Trump’s position on tariffs, expressing fears about trade war.
ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – March 15th was “National Password Day,” and the Better Business Bureau of upstate New York is reminding people to make sure people have a secure password.
SYRACUSE, NY (WRVO) – The New York State Public Service Commission has approved of National Grid rate hikes. Over the next three years, the monthly electric and gas bills of residential customers could increase by about $16 dollars. The plan includes a discount program for low-income customers.
SYRACUSE (WRVO) – The Trump administration’s proposed aluminum tariff could have a major impact on a couple of central and northern New York’s largest employers.
When natural gas companies approached Charlie Clark and Jim Barrett about the minerals under their farms, the northern Pennsylvania landowners in neighboring counties both decided to let them drill.
ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – Members of the restaurant industry are speaking out against a proposal to eliminate the minimum wage tip credit, saying it would negatively impact restaurants and their employees. Governor Cuomo announced in his State of the State address that he wants the State Department of Labor to examine the tip credit, possibly replacing tips with an increased minimum wage. Courtney Wyckoff is a server at the Rohrbach Beer Hall in Rochester. She says without tips, she would have to reconsider her line of work. “There’s a lot to be worried about, and I think it’s the unintended consequences that people don’t think about. And that could be us losing our jobs,” she said.
Throughout the years, WSKG-TV has shown numerous programs including “NOVA: Making North America,” “American Experience,” news programs like “Frontline,” musical programs like “Expressions,” and it’s most popular locally produced show, “Let’s Polka!” Now, it looks like WSKG-TV will be having its last polka in Tompkins and Cortland counties. WSKG announced Spectrum plans to drop the TV station in the Ithaca and Cortland areas in the coming weeks. Read full story here.
In the month since the Dick’s Sporting Goods distribution center opened Conklin, it’s given a bump to employment in the Southern Tier.
The Delaware River Basin Commission heard its first public comments on the proposal to ban fracking in the watershed this week in Wayne County and Philadelphia. If the DRBC approves the proposal, it would cement a current de-facto moratorium on drilling. But it remains controversial.
ROCHESTER (WXXI) – The unemployment rate in New York State edged slightly downward in December 2017. New York had a 4.6 percent unemployment rate, down a tenth of a percent from the previous month.
The Mariner East pipelines and related plant could have a potential $9 billion financial impact in the state over six years, according to a report by the firm EconsultSolutions. Sunoco/Energy Transfer Partners, which is building the $2.5 billion pipeline, paid for the report. It analyzes the economic benefits of the Mariner East 1, 2, and 2X pipelines that will carry natural gas liquids from the western part of Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio about 350 miles across the state to a processing and export facility in Marcus Hook, Delaware County. Read full story here.
ALBANY (WSKG) – New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has instituted a minimum wage increase for most workers in the state, now wants to extend that rate to tipped workers, including wait staff and car washers. That news is causing a backlash from restaurant owners and small business groups. The current state minimum wage for tipped workers is $7.50 an hour. That’s lower than the minimum wage for non-tipped workers, which ranges from $9.70 an hour upstate in some industries to $12 an hour for fast-food workers in New York City. But under a provision known as the tip credit, employers are required by law to monitor the tips that wait staff and other tipped workers receive.
(WSKG) — Retail and manufacturing jobs are on the decline–both in Pennsylvania, and around the country. So a state lawmaker is looking for ways to pinpoint exactly where those jobs are going–and how to stop the bleeding. Democratic Representative Mike Schlossberg of Lehigh County said two factors stand out as major causes of job loss in Pennsylvania: automation in manufacturing, and the rise of online shopping. Since 2002, he said department stores jobs around the country have declined by about 25 percent. His office projects employers in the state could automate up to 280,000 of the state’s 560,000 manufacturing jobs over the next two decades. Schlossberg said the commonwealth should be figuring out how to adapt to that new economy.
One of the top issues remaining before the state Legislature adjourns for the summer is fixing problems in the state’s economic development contracts. That’s after a scandal led to federal corruption charges against nine former associates of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. A bill by State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli to reinstate the comptroller’s ability to oversee economic development contracts is gaining momentum in the Legislature. DiNapoli said for the past several years hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts connected to the governor’s Buffalo Billion and other projects were negotiated largely in secret without any outside monitoring. Those dealings led to nine former Cuomo associates, including the governor’s former closest aide and a highly paid former State University of New York official, being charged with felonies ranging from bribery to bid-rigging. The comptroller’s bill, would, among other things, restore oversight powers that his office held for nearly a century but lost in a law passed in 2011.
A fiscal watchdog group is questioning the state’s century-old prevailing wage law for construction workers, saying it unnecessarily costs taxpayers billions of dollars a year in added expenses for big road, bridge and other projects. The Empire Center, a fiscally conservative budget watchdog group, looked at the state’s constitutionally protected prevailing wage law. It requires contractors on public projects to pay their workers the amounts set in unions’ collective bargaining agreements. The Empire Center’s E.J. McMahon said an analysis of federal data on wages paid finds the law’s interpretation is outdated and that New York may be paying more in taxpayer money than is necessary — up to 25 percent more for some projects in some regions of the state. “You’re talking about something that’s neither prevailing nor limited to the wage,” McMahon said.
Public money is often used to fund stadium upgrades. Elected officials say it builds up a local economy by attracting businesses, who want to set up nearby, and people, who spend their dollars in the city. That claim is debated in major league cities around the country. But what about smaller cities, like Elmira and Binghamton? Could stadiums benefit those economies?
Among the winners in New York’s Regional Economic Development awards last month were colleges and universities. Binghamton University, Cornell University and Broome Community College combined to win nearly $700,000 through the economic development grants. The money will be spent on research labs, manufacturing and start-up business incubators. Amanda Knarr works for the American Institute for Economic Research. She said this kind of investment creates jobs.