Enough is Enough – NYS-County Medicaid Boycott

Background (Preamble):

Target: Your County Governments and New York State Government
 
Message:The cost of the Medicaid is out of control. The financial burden of the program is placed on County’s and ultimately being shouldered by property tax payers.The State must take action to take financial responsibility for the program in an effort to lower property taxes in New York State.

Until the State takes responsibility for this burdensome program we are advocating that Counties withhold Medicaid payments made to the State of New York.

Objective: Passage of a bill that requires the State to take over the funding of Medicaid.

Strategy: Build a Coalition of support to withhold Medicaid payments to New York State through the Boycott Petition.

The Petition:

“ENOUGH IS ENOUGH”

TO: County Leaders of New York State – Stop Medicaid Payments to New York State Government

FROM: The People of the Counties of New York State

We hereby decry the NY State Government’s neglect to cede to county governments, the ability and authority to control spending on expensive state mandated programs and local personnel costs associated with these unfunded mandates. The lack of overall mandate relief, especially Medicaid reform, continues to be a crushing burden on county finances and county property tax payers. The burden of unfunded mandates is resulting in either municipalities having to bypass the tax cap, or their having to drastically slash local programs to meet the requirements of the tax cap;

THEREFORE, we call for a boycott by our County Executives and County Legislatures, asking that they: STOP MAKING MEDICAID PAYMENTS TO NEW YORK STATE Government.

• That counties stop payments to pressure New York State government to put an end to unfunded mandates, in that these mandates are increasing local property taxes and undermining the competitiveness of our region for economic growth, job retention and job growth.

• It is time for our county executives (managers or supervisors), with the support of local legislature’s and in conjunction with other counties throughout the State, begin withholding Medicaid payments in protest and until New York State takes responsibility for the cost burden of this unfunded mandate.

WE ALSO call on the State Senate and State Assembly to enact legislation that requires that New York State take responsibility for the cost of Medicaid. And we call on the Governor to sign this legislation into law. This will allow New York’s counties to enact relief from some of the highest property taxes in the nation.

FURTHERMORE, it is time for the State to reform the Medicaid program itself. New York has the most costly Medicaid program in the nation, currently spending over $1 billion per week!

“Enough is Enough” so say we the undersigned:

Sign the petition

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UCC: Stop Unfunded State Mandates

 

Join the fight and help put an end to unfunded / underfunded State Mandates.

Background (Preamble):New York State has some of the highest school and property taxes in the nation. Unfunded and underfunded mandates passed down from both the federal level and state level are to blame.The taxpayers of New York are fleeing the state in record numbers. We need to put pressure on our representatives in both Albany and Washington to make changes before it is too late. Sign our petition and make your voices heard!

 
Petition:We the undersigned, the hardworking taxpayers of New York demand relief from the overbearing State and Federal mandates that have been illegally placed upon us.We can no longer afford to live in a state that has the highest property taxes as a percentage of income in the nation.

    

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Unfunded State Mandates HANDOUT (pdf)

NY group seeks local government mandate relief. Unshackle Upstate and LET NY WORK

Wall Street Journal Online

NOVEMBER 2, 2011, 7:18 A.M. ET

ALBANY, N.Y. — An unusual mix of business, school, farm and taxpayer groups has tried to remind Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislators to fulfill campaign promises to cut “unfunded mandates” that drive up cost for schools and local governments across New York state.

Despite the diversity of Let NY Work and what a member said was a request by Gov. Andrew Cuomo for new ideas, the organization received a luke-warm response Tuesday. The group seeks to reduce state costs of mandates from Albany, many of which benefit powerful political partners in labor.

Cuomo said Tuesday that he understands local governments see state government’s mandates as “onerous.”

“I think mandate relief is a work in progress,” Cuomo said. “We made progress on the mandate reliefs this past session, some would say not enough. We’ll do it again.”

It wasn’t as aggressive a plan as Cuomo outlined in his campaign last year, when he pushed for a 2-percent cap on the growth of property taxes that would be followed by mandate relief to help schools and local governments live under it. The tax cap passed, but there has been little mandate relief so far.

“To provide a high-quality education and local government services at a more affordable cost, school districts and localities must be given the ability to rein in costs in a way that is made almost impossible today by unfunded state mandates,” stated Cuomo’s campaign platform last fall. “We will immediately move to eliminate unnecessary mandates.”

On Tuesday, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said he would consider the proposals.

Brian Sampson, executive director of Unshackle Upstate, said Tuesday was still a good start.

“The administration has to figure out where they are going to be in mandate relief,” Sampson said in an interview Tuesday night. “We still have a lot of time before the legislative session gets going.”

He said the result of mandate relief, much of it opposed by politically powerful unions, will be a “a government that is smaller, more nimble and less costly providing the services we’ve all come to expect.”

The goals of Let NY Work include:

—Offer two retirement options to new government employees, each cheaper than the traditional pensions that are driving employer contributions by schools and local government.

—Add factors that include a local government’s ability to pay in a labor contract arbitration and making the process more transparent.

—Eliminate some state provisions in public construction that drive up the cost by assuring more union work.

—Freeze “step increases” that continue for many public employees even if their labor contract expires. Employers argue the step increases guarantee raises for teachers and others reduce the incentive to settle on an affordable contract.

—Require all public employees to pay at least a minimum health insurance cost.

—Prohibit new mandates from Albany or require a supermajority of the Legislature before schools and local governments can take on new duties or responsibilities from Albany without getting funding for the mandate.

Let NY Work includes the state Business Council, the Farm Bureau, the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the New York Conference of Municipal Officials, the state School Boards Association, the New York State Association of Realtors, and the Council of School Superintendents.

“In order to rebuild our economy and our state, we must reduce costs on job creators, taxpayers, local governments and school districts alike,” said Mike Elmendorf, CEO of the Associated General Contractors of New York State.

—Copyright 2011 Associated Press
 

NFIB Leading Coalition for Mandate Relief

‎Monday, ‎October ‎31, ‎2011, ‏‎8:00:00 PM
Director Mike Durant will join nearly a dozen advocacy group leaders from the private and public sectors calling for sweeping mandate relief.
 

Unshackle UpstateBehind NY’s Problems: Big Spending, High Taxes

Upstate’s growth is undermined by a state government that has focused on big spending and high taxes. We’ve introduced plans to lower taxes, grow our economy and make our government more accountable to change that.

 

 New statewide Coalition – Let New York Work: A Common Agenda for the Common Good

 Posted:Nov 1st, 2011

A historic coalition of eleven prominent business, local government and educational organizations launched a new, comprehensive initiative to advance significant mandate relief. The effort, Let New York Work: A Common Agenda for the Common Good, consists of six key measures that will provide relief from mandates faced by all New Yorkers.

The agenda’s main points include:

  • Make the pension system predictable and affordable – The state should offer two retirement options to new employees – a reduced defined benefit plan or a new defined contribution plan that is controlled by the employees and does not weigh down taxpayers.
  • Redefine compulsory arbitration – A number of amendments are needed to the state’s compulsory arbitration statute that will benefit local municipalities and taxpayers such as: defining the ability to pay; prohibiting consideration of non-compensation issues; limiting access to binding arbitration; and, adding transparency to the arbitration process.
  • Reduce the costs of construction on public/private projects – The state should enact a number of measures that will spur building and development such as: supporting alternative project delivery methods like design build; increasing the Wicks Law threshold across the state; enacting the Public Construction Savings Act (S.4121/A.7855); and making common sense changes to the antiquated Scaffold Law.
  • Freeze step increases when contracts expire – Due to the state’s Triborough Amendment, public employees’ pay continue to increase under an expired contract, placing additional burdens on school districts and municipalities.
  • Establish minimum health insurance contribution level for employees and retirees – Employers should cover no more than 85 percent of a single healthcare premium or 75 percent of a healthcare premium for families or retirees.
  • Prohibit new mandates – The state should not impose any future mandates on municipalities, school districts and taxpayers. Enacting the Unfunded Mandate Reform Act (S.5379/A.8150) and requiring a super-majority to add new unfunded mandates would be beneficial.

Following the passage of the 2-percent property tax cap earlier this year, members of the newly-formed coalition recognized the need for a unified pro-mandate relief voice leading up to the 2012 legislative session.

“Just as we faced the property tax cap head on, we must focus on enacting meaningful mandate relief,” said Brian Sampson, executive director of Unshackle Upstate. “Making our communities more affordable and preventing the insolvency of local governments and school districts needs to be our top priority. Doing so will help to stabilize the state’s economy and provide a sense of security for taxpayers.”

Representing prominent business, local government and education organizations across the state, the coalition’s leaders strongly believe that mandate relief is essential to the future of New York’s economy.

“In order to rebuild our economy and our state, we must reduce costs on job creators, taxpayers, local governments and school districts alike. The comprehensive reform agenda that a historic and unprecedented coalition of organizations representing all of these entities is advancing today is a critical and common sense step in that direction,” said Mike Elmendorf, President and CEO of the Associated General Contractors of New York State.

“Real mandate relief is part of a broader goal of controlling total state and local spending, and lowering the combined tax burden on individuals and businesses,” said Heather Briccetti, acting-president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc. “A more competitive cost climate is essential for promoting new investment and new job growth in New York. The enactment of a 2 percent cap on the growth of property taxes was the first step. By working together, members of this newly-formed coalition hope to rein in the high cost of state mandates and provide much-needed fiscal relief to municipalities.”

“Outdated, only-in-New-York laws, like labor law 240/241, are actually unfunded mandates on our municipalities,” said Tom Stebbins, executive director, Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York. “Our local communities pay for these unnecessary laws in the form of inflated legal settlements, skyrocketing insurance rates and prohibitively high construction costs. We need to free our municipalities from these antiquated laws in order to make New York a better place to live and do business.”

“This is not the first tough year for schools. We have had three years of state aid cuts and freezes,” said Robert Reidy, executive director, New York State Council of School Superintendents. “With the prospect of operating under a tax cap it is imperative schools get help to preserve services for children. Immediate and significant mandate relief is necessary to maintain quality services for all children.”

“New York is at a crossroads and action is needed now to stem the high costs of mandates on local governments and school districts. These mandates translate into ever increasing costs for agricultural businesses and create a very unfavorable environment for farm retention and growth. While the enactment of the property tax cap helped solve the first half of the problem, New York must address the cost drivers for local governments and school districts to truly let New York work,” said Jeff Williams, Manager of Governmental Relations for New York Farm Bureau.

“Enacting the property tax cap was the first step in drastically changing the future for New York’s small business owners and taxpayers. This coalition of business, school and municipal leaders stands here today advancing the critical second step of mandate relief. This agenda will drastically reform our business climate, by addressing many of the key cost drivers that have driven businesses and people from New York’s borders, and provide significant relief to communities and school districts across the state from public pension and health benefit costs that are rising at an unsustainable rate. We urge the Governor and legislative leaders to heed this call of business owners and taxpayers, setting New York on a course for a new dawn of prosperity,” said Mike Durant, New York State Director of the National Federation of Independent Business

“New York’s local government cost structure, in its current mandate-driven form, cannot support real and sustainable property tax relief. A property tax cap, alone, will not change this fact,” said Peter A. Baynes, executive director of the New York Conference of Mayors. “Yet, with the significant mandate relief our broadly-based coalition is advancing today, there is an opportunity to finally change this destructive equation and provide the property tax relief New Yorkers desperately need.”

“Now is the time to finish the job of building meaningful and lasting property tax relief,” said Duncan MacKenzie, CEO of the New York State Association of REALTORS. “The cap approved earlier this year provided the framework for ending the cycle of property taxpayer abuse. To fulfill the promise of sustainable tax relief, this diverse coalition calls on state lawmakers to rethink every existing mandate and refrain from any further unfunded requirements on our schools and local governments. While the tax cap issue created divides between business and local taxing entities, mandate relief does not.”

“As school districts continue to grapple with the worst fiscal crisis in a generation, they need a new set of rules. The Let New York Work proposals, if enacted, would result in dramatic improvements to the fiscal health of our schools,” said Timothy Kremer, executive director, New York State School Boards Association. “They would also result in a more viable system of operating in this heightened era of fiscal responsibility and taxpayer fatigue. If we are to simultaneously address the fiscal crisis and advance academic achievement we must focus resources on those things that improve results for kids.”

“The Westchester County Association is very pleased to be a part of the Let New York Work coalition. We have long believed that once the tax cap was passed, there would be a collective outcry for mandate reform,” said Bill Mooney, president of the Westchester County Association. “Having the business community joined by local government and school groups with one common agenda, sends a powerful message to our elected officials in Albany that meaningful and significant mandate relief must be achieved in 2012.”

Following today’s release of the Let New York Work agenda, the group will continue to advocate for the passage of the agenda during the 2012 legislative session. 

Mandate relief proposal unveiled at Capitol

CBS 6 Albany – Video Posted: Nov 4th, 2011

Send a Message to Your State Lawmaker

Join us in sending a message to Albany. Whether it’s fighting for reduced taxes or state spending, e-mail your representative and let them know your position on important issues.

 

State Lawmakers Support State Medicaid Takeover Legislation, has support in 51 Counties

Medicaid Relief Proposal

Take a look at this video of a press conference held on September 19 about a new Medicaid relief proposal that will mean tax relief for counties across New York State.

CONTACT your State Legislature officials and let them know you support their sponsorship of this legislation, or request that they become a sponsor today! As for your County officials, request that they do their part to keep pressure on the state and pass resolutions in support of this bill.

Additionally, Take  Action by Signing these Petitions:

State Lawmakers Support State Medicaid Takeover Proposal

BILL NUMBER: S.5889B (Gallivan) / A.8644 (Paulin)

SPONSOR: GALLIVAN

TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend chapter 58 of the laws of 2005, relating to authorizing reimbursements for expenditures made by or on behalf of social services districts for medical assistance for needy persons and the administration thereof, in relation to calculating social services district
medical assistance expenditure amounts

PURPOSE:
This bill provides for an immediate freeze of local contributions to the cost of Medicaid followed by the gradual state assumption of all non- federal Medicaid costs over an 8-year period.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Sections 1 and 2 of Part C of Chapter 58 of the Laws of 2005 are amended to provide a phased takeover of the local share of Medicaid costs.

JUSTIFICATION:
Since the enactment of the Medicaid program in 1965, local social service districts (counties and the City of New York) have been required to share in both the cost and administrative operation of the program. Over the years, the cost of the program has grown exponentially while responsibility for program design and administration has been gradually shifted to the state. By 2016, all administrative responsibility for Medicaid will be assumed by the state.

Despite this shift of responsibility, county and New York City governments continue to be required to contribute a significant share of the total program cost. Currently, counties and New York City pay approximately $7.3 billion per year and under existing law, these costs will
continue to increase by 3% each year. With the recently enacted 2% cap on property taxes, counties simply cannot continue to meet this state mandate without slashing other essential local services such as senior services, veteran’s services, law enforcement, parks, and road maintenance.

This legislation provides for the gradual assumption of the current local shares starting with an immediate freeze on local contributions effective January 1, 2012. On October 1, 2012, local contributions will be reduced by 5%. Additional reductions will be made in the subsequent
years ending the with the full assumption of local Medicaid costs in 2019.

The timing of this legislation is designed to take advantage of changes that may be required by the federal Affordable Care Act as well as state actions being implemented or planned by the Governor’s Medicaid Redesign Team. Given the phased nature of the takeover, there is ample time for the Governor and Legislature to develop and consider changes to the program that may be required to maintain program compliance with federal law as well as affordability to the state.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
New Bill.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect immediately.

Sponsors of S.5889B/A.8644 as of 10/27/11

Senate
GALLIVAN, MCDONALD, RANZENHOFER, AVELLA, BONACIC, CARLUCCI, FARLEY, GOLDEN, GRIFFO, GRISANTI, LARKIN, LIBOUS, MAZIARZ, NOZZOLIO, O’MARA, OPPENHEIMER, RITCHIE, SEWARD, VALESKY, YOUNG

Assembly
Co-Prime Sponsors: Paulin, Sweeney, Lupardo, Lifton, Magnarelli, Schimminger, Abinanti, Galef, Latimer, Lavine, Roberts, Thiele, Spano, Gunther, Jaffee, Brindisi, Molinaro, Giglio

Multi Sponsors: Magee, Boyle, Johns, Tedisco, Palmesano, Burling, Ceretto, Kolb, Smardz, Tenney, Barclay, McDonough, Hawley, Castelli, Corwin

Sponsor breakdown by region/county

• Albany
• Allegany- Young (S-57), Burling (A-147), Giglio (A-149)
• Broome – Libous (S-52), Lupardo (A-126)
• Cattaraugus – Young (S-57), Giglio (A-149)
• Cayuga – Valesky (S-49), Kolb (A-129), Nozzolio (S-54)
• Chautauqua – Young (S-57), Giglio (A-149), pending Goodell (A-150)
• Chemung – O’Mara (S-53)
• Chenango – Libous (S-52), Seward (S-51)
• Clinton
• Columbia – Molinaro (A-103)
• Cortland – Seward (S-51), Lifton A-125), Kolb (A-129)
• Delaware – Bonacic (S-42)
• Dutchess – Molinaro (A-103)
• Erie – Gallivan (S-59), Razenhofer (S-61), Grisanti (S-60), Schimminger (A-140), Smardz (A146), Corwin (A-142)
• Essex
• Franklin
• Fulton – Farley (S-44), Butler (A-117)
• Genesee – Ranzenhofer (S-61), Burling (A-147), Hawley (A-139)
• Greene – Seward (S-51)
• Hamilton
• Herkimer – Seward S-51, Butler (A-117)
• Jefferson – Ritchie (S-48)
• Lewis – Griffo (S-47)
• Livingston – Gallivan (S-59), Young (S-57), Burling (A-147)
• Madison – Valesky (S-49), Magee (A-111)
• Monroe – Maziarz (S-62), Johns (A-135), Hawley (A-139), Nozzolio (S-54)
• Montgomery – Farley (S-44)
• Nassau – Lavine (A-13), Montessano (A-15)
• New York City – Avella (S-11), Golden (S-22)
• Niagara – Grisanti (S-60), Maziarz (S-62), Schimminger (A-140), Ceretto (A-138), Hawley (A-139), Corwin (A-142)
• Oneida – Griffo (S-47), Valesky (S-49), Magee (A-111), Brindisi (A-116)
• Onondaga – Valesky (S-49), Magnarelli (A-120), Roberts (A-119), Kolb (A-129), Barclay (A-124)
• Ontario – Gallivan (S-59), Kolb (A-129), Nozzolio (S-54)
• Orange – Bonacic (S-42), Carlucci (S-38), Larkin (S-39), Gunther (A-98)
• Orleans – Maziarz (S-62), Hawley (A-139)
• Oswego – Ritchie (S-48), Barclay (A-124)
• Otsego – Seward (S-51), Magee (A-111), Butler (A-117)
• Putnam – Galef (A-90)
• Rensselaer – McDonald (S-43)
• Rockland – Carlucci (S-38), Jaffee (A-95)
• St. Lawrence – Griffo (S-47), Ritchie (S-48)
• Saratoga – McDonald (S-43), Farely (S-44), Tedisco (A-110)
• Schenectady – Farley (S-44), Tedisco (A-110)
• Schoharie – Seward (S-51)
• Schuyler – O’Mara (S-53)
• Seneca – Kolb (A-129), Nozzolio (S-54)
• Steuben – O’Mara (S-53),
• Suffolk – Sweeney (A-11), Thiele (A-2), Boyle (A-8)
• Sullivan – Bonacic (S-42), Gunther (A-98)
• Tioga – Libous (S-52)
• Tompkins – O’Mara (S-53), Seward (S-51), Lifton (A-125), Nozzolio (S-54)
• Ulster – Bonacic (S-42), Larkin (S-39)
• Warren
• Washington
• Wayne – Nozzolio (S-54)
• Westchester – Oppenheimer (S-3), Paulin (A-88), Abinati (A-92), Galef (A-90), Latimer (A-91), Spano (A-93), Castelli (A-89)
• Wyoming – Gallivan (S-59), Burling (S-147)
• Yates – O’Mara (S-53), Palmesano (A-136)

16 Organizations from across New York Launch New Coalition “Clean Growth Now”, pro-drilling, pro-economic growth, pro jobs!

 

Pro-drilling groups officially launch new coalition

16 Organizations from across New York Launch Clean Growth Now 

Today, 16 leading New York organizations officially launched Clean Growth Now – a coalition supporting responsible natural gas development in New York. To find out more about today’s call, read our press release.

Members from every corner of New York will participate in today’s call, including the Greater Bringhamton Chamber of Commerce, Southern Tier Economic Growth, Inc., the Steuben County Landowners Coalition, the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, and the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters.Follow us on Facebook and Twittertoday for more updates, and use the #CGNLive hashtag throughout the day for live coverage.Roadmap to Clean Growth

Newsroom

MEMBERS / JOIN TODAY ! (Take Action – Coming Soon)

Citizen Voices – What do you think are New York’s important energy issues?

Please register today and post your comment.

It would be a crime if we squandered this blessing.

“It would be a crime if we squandered this blessing.” That’s how columnist David Brooks concludes his excellent column in the New York Times . The piece—appropriately entitled “Shale Gas Revolution”—lays out a…

Posted November 14 | Continue Reading

New York—Can your job be a Marcellus job?

The old song says it best: “If I can make it there, I can make it anywhere.” Opponents of natural gas development and hydraulic fracturing are strong in New York, as evidenced by the state’s de facto temporary moratorium on drilling…
 
Posted November 09 | Continue Reading

Hydraulic Fracturing: Myth vs. Fact

Energy Citizens are more interested in truth than myths. But, there a lot of myths out there about hydraulic fracturing —energy urban legends. Let’s take a look at a few of them: Myth : Hydraulic fracturing fluid is dangerous to the public…

Posted November 09 | Continue Reading

The Power of Letter Writing

In November, we are asking all Energy Citizens To come together… To send a letter and share a message… To take action that will make a big difference. There is nothing quite as powerful as writing a letter. Letter writing is a personal and positive…

Posted November 02 | Continue Reading

Is More Than One Million Safe Wells Not Enough?

Let’s start with the facts: Hydraulic fracturing is safe. The security of hydraulic fracturing has been established by decades of safe use. Hydraulic fracturing is highly regulated, and poses no significant threat to public health. Opponents are…

Posted November 02 | Continue Reading

Want a Brighter Energy Future? Then We Need Natural Gas.

There is a mind-boggling amount of natural gas in the shale deposits of this country. Safely tapping these vast resources will free us from the tyranny of foreign energy dependence, massively stimulate our economy, create thousands of jobs, and improve…

Posted October 20 | Continue Reading

Take Action: Citizen Voices

With the upcoming 2012 elections, opponents of increased access to American oil and natural gas resources will redouble their efforts to try and influence the policy debate. How can we break through their noise? Help counter their message by taking action…

Posted October 19 | Continue Reading

 
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When hydrofracking begins in New York State the inflated cost of doing business in New York will take its toll.

Hydrofracking is under attack again, find ways here and here to help create jobs in New York.

Why is Governor Cuomo allowing the EPA to slow down on hydrofracking?

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Gas group criticizes New York’s proposed drilling rules

Hydrofracking plan called ‘unjustified’ by independent association

6:16 PM, Nov. 7, 2011 |

Marcellus Shale
ALBANY — A gas industry trade group estimates the state’s proposed hydraulic fracturing requirements would cost companies an additional $1 million per well to drill in New York compared to other states.

In a strongly worded letter to the state’s top environmental regulator, the Independent Oil & Gas Association of New York said many of the Department of Environmental Conservation’s proposals are far too restrictive and “do not send the signal that New York state is ‘open for business.”‘

for more…

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Pro-drilling groups (officially) launch new coalition

New Pro HydroFracking Coalition Forms
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Senator Libous: If We Hydrofrack, “We Wouldn’t Need Any Taxes”

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Senator Libous: If We Hydrofrack, “We Wouldn’t Need Any Taxes”

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Marcellus Shale may produce local jobs

October 17, 2011 By NICHOLAS L. DEAN – OBSERVER Mayville Bureau
 
A study released by the state Department of Environmental Conservation detailed how natural gas production of the Marcellus Shale could bring upward of 50,000 jobs to New York….
 
Further, according to Gill, the fact sheet briefly describes the many layers of laws and rules that help ensure the public that the industry continues to operate under New York state and federal laws and works actively to protect our environment.
 
The fact sheet and others are available online at the IOGA of New York website www.iogany.org and on the Marcellus Facts blog site www.marcellusfacts.com/blog/education
 
 
Drilling for Jobs: