Jobs, taxes, budget and healthcare all topics at Herkimer County Legislative Breakfast

By By GARY LIBERATORE

HERKIMER, N.Y. (WKTV) - Jobs, taxes, the budget, and healthcare were all normal talking points during Herkimer County's annual Chamber of Commerce Legislative Breakfast.

This this year, however, the problems facing Governor David Paterson were also front and center.

About 200 business leaders from around Herkimer County listened to the area's political leaders, including State Senator James Seward, Assemblyman David Townsend and Congressman Michael Arcuri.

Butler, a republican, told the crowd that the Governor's issues that have recently come out are a tremendous distraction.

Afterward, when asked about his comment, Butler told NEWSChannel 2:

"We should be right in the midst of our budget discussions and it's a tremendous distraction," Butler said. "I believe the Governor has to make a decision. I don't know if he can withstand what's happening to him, and if he is looking to step down, it should be sooner than later, so we can get on with this process and get the job done."

When asked about the Governor possibly stepping down, Congressman Arcuri also said he felt the Governor had a decision to make.

"He is going to have to make his decision," Arcuri said. "I would only urge him to make a decision that is best for New York and not best for him. So, it's all about New York, it's all about the people we serve."

The man who organized the breakfast, Herkimer County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director John Scarano said that it is good for area businesses to hear from their political leaders from all levels of government. Scarano said he believes politicians at all levels will put aside their politics this year and are on the right track.

"The government has to create an environment, not jobs," Scarano said. "It has to create an environment so small business can grow and therefore jobs will grow, and that's the key. Let our entrepreneurs grow their business and jobs will come."

Besides the Governor's issues and their possible effect on the upcoming budget process, a big topic of discussion at the legislative breakfast was healthcare, and how expensive it is for small businesses to pay for their employees.

Congressman Arcuri said the Senate and the House are far apart when it comes to passing a new healthcare reform bill.

"I have said from the very beginning, the Senate bill is very different from the House bill and I don't support the Senate bill."

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