As a result, the underrepresented have long sought an answer to the "three men in a room" dilemma... And we may have found one - the "Five Senators in Upstate." The truth of the matter is that with a slim 32-30 majority in the State Senate, nothing can get done without the support of five Upstate senators - our own Bill Stachowski and Antoine Thompson, in addition to David Valesky (Syracuse), Darrel Aubertine (Watertown) and Neil Breslin (Albany). That gives them an awful lot of influence - if they choose to use it.
They didn't of course, in the passage of January's Deficit Reduction Package, which whacked Upstate business and personal taxpayers with new health insurance taxes and the "sweep" of NY Power Authority funds (the Buffalo News Donn Esmonde today asked where our Upstate leadership was in this decision). That being the case, there are now budget proposals on the table that are devastating to employers in Upstate New York, and we will be leaning heavily on our group of five senators to exert their influence in protecting us from:
- The proposed $650 million assessment on energy and telecommunications;
- Additional health insurance taxes and assessments;
- Any increase in personal income taxes, particularly on small business owners.
Now's the time, too - the New York Post says the hurt is on its way.