As we see almost every year, the New York State budget for this new fiscal year contains some pluses for business and some minuses. It’s a traditional mixed bag. One very positive item contained in the stacks of legislation for this year is a move that makes permanent a two percent cap on property tax increases for municipalities and school districts. We are very pleased to see this. Since the tax cap was implemented in 2012, local property tax increases have averaged 2.9 percent, compared with the 5.3 percent average increase from 2000 to 2010. The Business Council of New York State points out that business properties account for about 40 percent of all real property taxes paid statewide. So this is a significant move that will benefit not only businesses, but also residents, as we all work towards making New York a more affordable place to live, work, and do business. All employers will be required to provide three hours of paid time off for the purpose of voting. This is an increase from the current two paid hours allotted, but employees will no longer have to demonstrate that they are unable to vote outside of normal working hours. The state budget allocates $750-million for distribution through the annual regional economic development process, which has results in substantial benefits to Chautauqua County in the Western New York region. It also creates a new searchable public database of projects receiving economic development assistance, in a move towards accountability and transparency that leads the state in the right direction. Some infrastructure funding is included in the new budget, including $150-billion to support projects statement, plus a $500-million plan to invest in clean water projects. Environmentally, the state’s new ban on single-use plastic bags is sound, but it may pose some challenges to the retail and grocery industries. An overall increase of $1-billion for school aid is designed to prioritize funding needs for schools in economically challenged areas. Education is fundamentally linked with workforce development, and we welcome important additional funding for schools that helps to build the workforce of our future.