Boston (January 28, 2014) – Governor Patrick’s final State of
the State Address was a rousing celebration of his two terms but at important
moments it missed its mark, said the National
Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) tonight.
business owners will be very encouraged that the Governor urged lawmakers to
finally reform the state’s unemployment insurance system,” said NFIB Massachusetts State Director Bill
Vernon. “Our unemployment insurance
payroll tax ix among the highest in the country and it acts as a direct penalty
on small businesses that hire new workers.
The Governor made reforming that system a key feature of his address and
that’s very positive.”
strayed off key, however, when he urged lawmakers to raise the minimum wage,
one point he urged businesses to hire someone for the common good. And in the next sentence he urged lawmakers
to raise the minimum wage arbitrarily without regard to whether small
businesses can afford higher labor costs.
That was a discordant.”
measure currently being debated in the Legislature would raise the minimum wage
to $11 per hour by 2015, an increase of 37.5 percent, and an automatic increase
every year thereafter based on inflation.
That, said Vernon, would destroy small businesses that compete with
businesses in neighboring states and lead to even higher unemployment among younger,
minority, and less experienced workers.
not a small business anywhere in Massachusetts that can count on a 37.5 percent
increase in sales over the next two years and an increase every year into the
future,” said Vernon. “That would leave
us in a very weak position with competitors in other states, including the rest
of New England.
business owners who were listening to that portion of the speech probably felt
like the Governor was talking past them,” he continued.
Vernon will be available be available for comment on the Governor’s Address. To
arrange an interview, please contact him directly or contact Sr. Regional Media
Manager Jack Mozloom at 609-462-5610 or firstname.lastname@example.org.