MONTEBELLO, NY – In a recent virtual meeting with the Rockland Chamber Alliance, New York State Senator Bill Weber (R,C 38th) outlined his vision for bolstering the business community and reversing the outward migration of residents and businesses from the state.
Born in Pearl River and a lifelong resident of Rockland County, Weber brings 20 years of experience as a CFO for a golf course and real estate development company to his role as a state senator. He believes his background in business and finance is critical for addressing the current challenges facing the state, including the financial exodus of residents and businesses.
He emphasized the need for the state to become more business and residential friendly, highlighting that despite the allure of southern states, many residents maintain a strong affinity for Rockland. The state senator spoke about the importance of making it possible for the younger generation to return to their home state after college, something that is becoming increasingly challenging due to affordability and job opportunities.
One of Weber’s recent accomplishments that he shared with the Chamber was the collaboration on a bill with other Legislators on the change of the Mario Cuomo Bridge name to once again include “Tappan Zee”, as it was named since its original bridge opening date in 1955. The new bill is S4558A, sponsored by NYS Senator James Skoufis. The new name, Mr. Weber explained, was a compromise between local and downstate interests, and although not everyone is happy with the outcome, it represents progress. Whether it will be approved by the assembly or the governor remains to be seen.
In addition to the name restoration, Weber highlighted some of the benefits included in the recently passed state budget, such as fully funding public schools and providing free lunch and breakfast in schools. Despite these positives, he expressed concern over the increase in the state budget – from $179 billion to $229 billion in just four or five years – and its impact on the tax burden for residents and businesses.
When asked about plans to support local business sectors, Weber expressed his belief in the importance of promoting local tourism and incentivizing businesses to set up shop in the state. He noted that changing the state’s reputation as being unfriendly to businesses and taxpayers was critical for this to happen. He pledged to work towards making the state more affordable and attractive to both existing and new businesses, emphasizing that this is crucial for getting the state back on track.
He concluded by stating, “What we need to do is really change the attitude, change the conversation so that we make this a more affordable area for people to not only stay but to attract new businesses. I want to be as vocal as possible in state government and also help the local industries and the local chambers to make the proper investment so that we can get this state back on track.”
The Chamber members thanked Senator Weber for his insights and expressed their appreciation for his ongoing efforts to support the local business community. Learn more about the various Chambers of Commerce in Rockland County, at RocklandChamber.org.