Advocating for Albany’s Fiscal Strength. As a longtime resident of Capital Region, Pat realizes how important it is for New York leaders to pay attention to the needs of residents in the Capitol’s backyard. That’s why she strongly advocated for $12.5 million in Capital City funding from NYS for the City of Albany when the City faced a budget shortfall due to structural deficits in 2016 and 2017.
Preserving Net Neutrality and an Open Internet. Access to a free and open internet is essential for small businesses, entrepreneurs, consumers and economic growth in the Capital Region. Pat introduced legislation in 2017 to preserve Net Neutrality principles in New York by denying state contracts to internet service providers that treat consumers unfairly, in an effort to counter the recent FCC ruling abandoning efforts to keep the internet free and open.
Increasing the Minimum Wage. Recognizing that families who live on or close to minimum wages are facing more and more financial challenges, Pat strongly advocated for increasing our state’s minimum wage in 2014. The increase to a minimum wage of $10.40 per hour in Upstate New York has provided increased purchasing power for low-income residents and helped financially strengthen families.
Promoting Small Business Growth. Craft beverage production has grown exponentially in the Capital Region in just the last few years. Pat is “3 for 3” in passing three bills in three years to promote the Capital Region’s rapidly growing multimillion dollar craft beverage industry, bringing jobs and development to local farms, cideries, distilleries and more. Pat also supported an employers’ workers compensation rate reduction in the 2017 budget–an outgrowth of improved policies and procedures–resulting in an estimated $400 million in savings for small businesses, enabling them to reinvest in both their companies and their employees.
Growing Jobs Through State Economic Investment. Pat has repeatedly supported the state’s Regional Economic Development Councils’ annual grants initiative that has helped spur a 5.8% increase in private sector employment in the Capital Region from 2011 to 2016 as well as a reduction in the unemployment rate to 4.2%– the second lowest in the state. These 296 local economic development projects initiated with $237 million in state support have leveraged a $1.16 billion investment in the Capital Region.
Albany Capital Center. Pat was an early advocate for a new Albany Convention Center, now called the Capital Center, which after completion in 2017, has already attracted a successful series of conferences and events to Albany and is helping to fuel the local economy.