BATAVIA – Lee Zeldin, frontrunner for the Republican gubernatorial nomination for the 2022 race, says upstate’s view of bottom-state Albany politics is not accurate .
“It’s 58 counties and four counties. Even Staten Island is with so many other parts of the state – frustrated with the one-party rule that we see in New York and Albany, ”he said in a meeting with leaders in Chapin on Friday. International Inc. of Batavia before a factory tour.
“There was a budget strategy – we’ve seen (former governor) Andrew Cuomo do it every year – pitting region against region, party against party, chamber against chamber,” he said. “You make education advocates come begging for education dollars that they should know are definitely coming, forcing veterans to beg for the PFC Joseph Dwyer (Peer Support) program that they should.” know how to arrive without having to beg for it. . “
The whole budget process is screwed up, Zeldin said, but it has also reinforced divisions within the state.
“I think if you live in any of these four boroughs (of New York) you deserve to have a voice and representation in Albany because you are a New Yorker, but that shouldn’t be at the expense of from everyone everywhere, if not the feeling that they have no voice and representation in the state capital, ”Zeldin said.
Zeldin spoke about how the budget process is supposed to work.
“I come from a legislative background. You have 213 members of the state legislature and anyone with ideas deserves to have their voice and ideas heard in this process, ”he said. “If you are a member of the assembly or a senator representing Genesee County, you should have as much of a say in the budget process as if you are a member of the assembly or a senator from the Bronx. I feel like to bridge the gap you set the culture instantly, as soon as you take the oath you set an executive budget. This executive budget allocates aid dollars for education that allows other regions to realize that things are different. “
Zeldin said his district, the 1st Congressional District on the eastern end of Long Island, is heavily agricultural.
“In the center of the state, of all congressional districts, this is the district that you will find closest to Genesee County,” he said. “I have eight cities in my district and East Hampton and Shelter Island are as close as you get to Manhattan, you’ll find the lower state other than Manhattan, but the other six cities… it’s all agriculture. and agriculture. ”
Being an effective member of the household, Zeldin said, required him to strengthen his relationships and understanding of the Long Island and New York agricultural offices. He also realized that the best way to fight for the farming communities in his district is to help other members fight for the farming communities in their district.
“Because when you need something, they are there to fight for you,” he said. “I feel like it’s not that hard to bridge the gap,” he said.
Regarding the business climate in New York State and the concerns Chapin International discussed with him on Friday morning, Zeldin said that if Chapin President and CEO Jim Campbell calls the New York Governor, the governor should answer or call back immediately.
“This is what is happening in all the other states. It is not a foreign concept. It’s happening everywhere else, ”Zeldin said. “I’ve heard all these different stories from business owners in New York City who feel targeted by the state and decide it’s not worth it. They have reached their breaking point and they are running away.
There is a new bill just signed that would hold gun manufacturers accountable for crimes committed along the chain of gun ownership.
“This will cause the arms makers of New York to leave for a more business-friendly state,” he said. “Whatever your opinion on the Second Amendment, the business is going to continue to exist. They’re going to maintain their business model, all those jobs that employ New Yorkers are going to be jobs that employ residents of other states. It’s partly cultural. Plus, some of the really bad anti-business bills that get passed …
“We need to control spending. This is the best way for us to be able to reduce taxes and fight against the waste of billions of dollars in the Medicaid program, ”he said. “You can fulfill Medicaid’s mission just as effectively and be able to cut billions of dollars. “
Campbell said on Friday there were about 300 hourly workers at the Chapin’s Batavia and Clarence factories combined. The company manufactures various types of home sprayers and spreaders for lawn and soil maintenance, snow and ice control and for gardening. In August, Chapin announced its expansion by adding 500,000 square feet of manufacturing and warehousing space in Kentucky. There are more than 100 employees in Kentucky, a number that is expected to double over the next two years, he said. There are about 100 employees in Ohio and about 85 employees in Michigan.
“Probably 24 months from now Kentucky will be producing as many sprayers as we are doing here in Batavia,” he said.
Part of the development in Kentucky was due to the business climate in New York state and part of not being able to recruit employees, Campbell said.
“We ran all year, probably, short. About 15-20% of our workforce was not there – because of prolonged unemployment, the extra money, all of that stuff, was keeping people home. It started with COVID. We’ve been declared an essential business, so we’ve never wasted a day. From there people just didn’t come back to work or look for work, ”he said. “They would come for a day or two, sometimes for a few hours. Sometimes they would leave in the middle of the orientation on what the job was.
Campbell said the company’s jobs in Kentucky and Ohio could have been in New York City if the business climate was better here and there was more employee availability.
“These are blow molding facilities, like this facility,” he said.
Campbell said Zeldin’s visit was scheduled via Hawley.
“We are great advocates for change for New York State. For some reason the government here thinks businesses are all very wealthy, ”he said. “Anytime they want to pay something, ‘We’re just going to tax the companies.’ Well, it comes to a point, we still have to have shareholder returns, we can’t afford that. ”