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Erie County Legislature opposes ECIDA’s policies that overregulate private business


We’ve all read the stories in the paper of the countless individuals suffering from the ongoing opioid epidemic. There has been a lot of talk of families being ripped apart by this tragedy, too often we hear talk but see little action.

Legislator Ted Morton joined Senator Patrick M. Gallivan, Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard, Holland Central School Superintendent Cathy Fabiatos and Alden School Superintendent Adam Stoltman to announce continued funding for school resource officers (SRO) in several local districts. The SRO program provides a uniformed officer in schools as a way to promote student safety, conflict resolution and anti-bullying initiatives.

At a Legislative session held on September 21, 2017, Legislator Ted Morton honored Lancaster resident, Dick Young as the September 2017 Citizen of the month.

Today, in response to the County Executive’s offer to work with Legislator Morton to develop a compromise Made in America Act, Legislator Ted Morton wrote to him to begin the process.

Legislator Ted Morton first introduced the Made in America Act in support of local manufacturers and local workers in Erie County. After passing the Legislature by a vote of 9-1, the County Executive vetoed the law after instructing the County Attorney to draft a legal opinion.

The Erie County Legislature’s Majority Caucus approved a resolution that urges the Erie County Industrial Development Agency (ECIDA) to reconsider some of its recent actions that threaten to harm this region’s private business development and growth. The resolution also urges the ECIDA to refrain from pushing through policy ideas before they are properly vetted.


“The ECIDA is reinventing itself into an authoritarian agency overseeing private sector business’ day-to-day operations instead of focusing on job creation and economic development. Several of the ECIDA board members’ push to overregulate businesses has resulted in a loss of interest from private development,” said Erie County Legislator Edward A. Rath, III, ECIDA Board Member. “A majority of the County Legislature is extremely concerned with the ECIDA’s focus on new policies and regulations. We have requested that the ECIDA repeal its Equal Pay Policy and focus on its mission of helping, not hindering, business.”


The resolution was approved (6-5) after the Legislature heard from several members of the business community that expressed concern with the ECIDA’s recent actions. Buffalo’s resurgence cannot be hindered by the ECIDA, which is in a position to help shape the future of the city and ensure its long-term success. Redundant, costly and unnecessary policies will have the exact opposite effect.


“I am extremely disappointed in the shortsightedness of our County Executive and the majority of the ECIDA board members who are more concerned with overregulating private business than supporting them. The ECIDA is not an authority agency and should not be acting as such. State and federal laws already exist that require equal pay. What the ECIDA imposed puts an unnecessary burden on businesses, and Erie County’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The ECIDA has come under fire for many reasons and I have many concerns about the direction they are taking. It is my hope the board members will refocus on their purpose and help, not hurt, private businesses,” said Legislator Ted Morton. 


In addition to the ECIDA’s new Equal Pay Policy duplicating existing federal and state requirements, it allows for random spot check of businesses to determine compliance as opposed to equally checking all businesses.