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Cuomo: Group aims to reduce cost of doing business in NY

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo speaks at the Juror

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo speaks at the Juror Welcome Lunch - 2016 Tribeca Film Festival on April 14, 2016 in New York City. Photo Credit: Getty Images for the 2016 Tribec / Nicholas Hunt

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and leaders of the State Legislature’s majority conferences announced Thursday the creation of a “temporary council” to recommend ways to reduce the cost of doing business in New York.

The move comes after Cuomo and legislative leaders were criticized by small business owners, farmers and others for the 2016-17 state budget, which increases the state minimum wage in stages to $15 per hour from $9 and establishes employee-paid family leave.

The seven council members are leaders of business and labor groups including the state AFL-CIO, Retail Council of New York State and the New York Farm Bureau. One is a Long Islander — Gary LaBarbera of Wantagh, president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York.

The council faces a June 3 deadline to issue recommendations that will be considered by Cuomo and lawmakers before the June 16 end of the legislature’s regular session.

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