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chris collins

September 9, 2013 - 1:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee County Airport, NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) announced today that the Genesee County Airport, located in Batavia, will receive two grants from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) totaling more than $1 million. The first grant, for $973,800, will fund the construction necessary to relocate the airport’s apron. An apron is the area of the airport where planes are parked, unloaded, refueled and boarded. This project includes 77,500 square feet of new pavement and the reconstruction of 44,000 square feet of existing pavement.

The second grant, for $63,000, will provide funding for the design of a new taxiway leading to the T-hangar at the airport. 

“Supporting local governments with the cost of maintaining, repairing and building critical infrastructure is an appropriate use of federal tax dollars,” Collins said. “Local taxpayers send a lot of their hard-earned money to Washington and it is only proper that we get a share of it back to assist with projects that are important to our local communities.”

The Congressman’s office remains available to assist any local government pursuing a federal grant.

September 6, 2013 - 5:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

Earlier today, we asked the office of Rep. Chris Collins to provide us with an update on his thinking regarding the Obama Administration's request for congressional authorization to bomb Syria.

Here's a statement from Collins:

“I remain undecided on how I will vote on the authorization of U.S. military force in Syria. As I have said before, the situation in Syria is very troubling and increasingly complex. I continue to have serious questions that remain unanswered as to what the objectives of a military strike would be, which countries would stand with America militarily, and what the administration's plan would be if the strike failed to meet its objectives. My constituents continue to contact my offices voicing their opinions, the vast majority of which are against U.S. involvement, and I encourage them to continue to do so.”

August 31, 2013 - 3:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

“I am pleased President Obama has made the decision to consult and receive authorization from Congress before ordering the use of U.S. military force in Syria. This situation is extremely complex and it is appropriate for all the representatives of the American people to vote on this critical decision.

Speaker Boehner has called House Members to Washington tomorrow to participate in a classified, interagency briefing. I will be traveling to Washington to be a part of this important meeting.

As I said earlier this week, the situation in Syria is deeply troubling and any military response by the United States could have ramifications far beyond the Syrian border. 

Before deciding how I will vote when Congress returns to session, I will thoroughly review all of the available intelligence and learn all I can about the limited military action in Syria proposed by President Obama.”

August 28, 2013 - 11:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, Oliver's Candies, NY-27, chris collins.

Rep. Chris Collins stopped in Oliver's Candies today, but it wasn't for the famed Molly Pops. He was making one of his regular visits to small local businesses in his district.

Oliver's is also famed for -- among other things -- sponge candy, which Collins discussed at some length with Deborah Palmer, left, and Jeremy Liles. Sponge candy is another of WNY's unique foods that is little known in other parts of the country. Liles said it's probably a candy that was brought to WNY by Polish immigrants.

Anita Strollo submitted this photo of Collins at the lunch at the Senior Center today. Her mother, Serena Strollo, celebrated her 91st birthday today and Collins presented her with a Congressional certificate.

August 28, 2013 - 9:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) released the following statement today on potential military action in Syria:

“Today I signed a letter from Representative Scott Rigell (VA-2) to President Obama urging the President to consult and receive authorization from Congress before ordering the use of U.S. military force in Syria.

The images coming out of Syria are deeply troubling. There is also no question that the circumstances on the ground are complex and any military response by the United States will not only impact the ongoing civil war within Syria but possibly have ramifications throughout the region. For those reasons alone, I believe the President has an obligation to consult Congress and communicate with the American people about what our response should be.

President Obama himself wrote that 'the President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation' in a 2007 response to a Boston Globe questionnaire.

It is my hope that President Obama will remember these words and call for Congress to reconvene for discussion should he deem military action in Syria necessary.”

August 8, 2013 - 3:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, NY-27, chris collins.

Rep. Chris Collins met with a few Batavia business owners today to discuss issues small business. Collins said meetings such as this help keep him grounded and focused on issues that will help grow the economy.

The clear message from today's meeting, he said, was that small business owners are uncertain about the direction of the country, worried about tax codes, health care, availability of capital and finding a well-trained work force.

He noted economic growth has been floundering at 1.6 percent for years.

"There was a confirmation here today that uncertainty plays a big role and that uncertainty is tied directly to Washington," Collins said.

He said the message for small business owners who couldn't attend the meeting is that he's trying to do his part to get the country moving forward in a commonsense way.

That means tax reform that lowers the marginal tax rate for all small business owners to maximum of 25 percent," he said. "(It means) making sure the government doesn't shut down but that we deal with the deficits and debts of our country; bringing a level of certainty to unleash the investment that's waiting to be made if people were confident the government wasn't going to shut down, and I will continue to fight for the repeal of ObamaCare."

July 29, 2013 - 12:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) and families affected by juvenile diabetes came together today to support the Kids First Research Act (H.R. 2019). Collins is a cosponsor of the legislation that would eliminate federal funding for presidential campaigns and party conventions and re-allocate the funding to expand pediatric research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

“Instead of using federal taxpayer dollars to fund political activities every four years, our priority should be to support medical breakthroughs that would help children diagnosed with a range of diseases and disorders,” Congressman Collins said. “Instead of asking taxpayers for more of their hard-earned money, this nation has to reprioritize its spending. The Kids First Research Act will put the health and well-being of our children ahead of presidential politics.

“The millions of federal taxpayer dollars we currently spend on these party activities would help the NIH make huge strides in research and clinical trials aimed at curing and preventing juvenile (type 1) diabetes, childhood cancers, autism, and Down Syndrome, to name a few."

Specifically, the Kids First Research Act would eliminate the Presidential Election Campaign Fund (mainly used to finance party conventions) and re-allocate $130 million, over 10 years, to the NIH. 

“JDRF’s mission is to cure, treat and prevent diabetes,” said Patrick Marks, president of the WNY Chapter of JDRF, and a type 1 diabetic himself. “Passage of this legislation will help better equip the NIH to fund research that directly impacts the future of our children living with type 1 diabetes. Children with type 1 diabetes grow up to become adults with type 1 diabetes, and we need to cure this disease.”

This bill has the support of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), Autism Speaks, the Children’s Hospital Association, the Coalition of Pediatric Medical Research, the National Down Syndrome Society and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, among others.

July 26, 2013 - 10:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

An amendment to a defense bill that would have ended the NSA's spying on American citizens was defeated in the House earlier this week, and Rep. Chris Collins was among the members who voted against the amendment.

The amendment was introduced by Rep. Justin Amash, from Battle Creek, Mich., and would have de-funded the NSA program, which gathers data from phone companies on phone calls by U.S. citizens in the hope of uncovering terrorist plots.

The Batavian sent an e-mail to Grant Loomis, spokesman for Collins, and asked for a statement on the vote. Loomis said we could attribute the following statement to him:

“Congressman Collins voted to keep in place the same program that for nearly the last decade has saved countless American lives and thwarted terrorists at every turn.”

There is no evidence publicly available that a single terrorist plot has been prevented by the program, known as PRISM.

We asked Loomis what evidence the Congressman had that the program has prevented a terrorist attack, and he responded:

"He has participated in Congressional briefings on the matter. Chris believes the NSA program is in the best interest of our country’s national security and his vote on the matter reflects his position."

The vote was largely symbolic because even if the amendment would have passed in the House, according to a Washington Post story, it certainly would have been stripped from the bill in conference committee with the Senate, but if it didn't, it would have been vetoed by President Obama.

June 23, 2013 - 11:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, oakfield-alabama, NY-27, chris collins.

Rep. Chris Collins told graduating Oakfield-Alabama students Sunday: slow down.

Collins recounted all that might be taken for granted today that didn't exist when today's seniors were born: DVRs, GPS, iPhones, Google, Twitter, text messaging, satellite radio. The pace of life has quickened, but students can navigate the fast pace of 21st Century life if they have core values and take time to weigh their decisions against those values.

"With all of these advances in your lifetime, can you imagine what the next 18 years are going to bring?" Collins said. "Now that I've spent the past several minutes preparing you to think about the speed of life, I'm going to give you some advice that may seem counterintuitive: slow down."

The young men and women of the 2013 graduating class should take time to write a personal vision statement to guide them as they go forward in life, Collins said.

"As everything around us moves faster, or at least it appears to, I think it is all the more important that you take time for what really counts," Collins said.

Graduates should take time, he said, to ask themselves, "What do you stand for?"

"Life is all about choices," Collins said. "What you do, what you say, how you make people feel are all choices."

Collins closed with a quote from Elbert Hubbard, the WNY writer and thinker from the 19th Century.

The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can't be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it.

Today's graduates should take action, get involved and make a difference, Collins said.

O-A's top 10 graduates: Paige Chatt, Jessica Cherry, Chelsea Cleveland, Jennifer Crossen, Brittany Denton, Kerry Mills, Teresa Natalizia, Alyse Shamp, Katie Spence and Morgan Zakes.

Valedictorian Jennifer Crossen

Salutatorian Brittany Denton

June 20, 2013 - 2:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, agriculture, NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

“Today’s unfortunate defeat of the House Farm Bill speaks to the dysfunction in Washington that continues to stand in the way of solving real problems for real Americans.

Agriculture is a critical industry in New York’s 27th Congressional District, impacting our local residents far beyond those directly doing the hard work of farming. Our farmers and growers deserve a Congress that can come together and pass a long-term Farm Bill. It is essential to help our agricultural industry plan and prepare.

As  a member of the House Agriculture Committee, I remain committed to the work ahead to see a Farm Bill become law.” 

June 17, 2013 - 4:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

To mark National Small Business Week, Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) is asking small business owners in his district to complete an online survey about the economy and other issues impacting the small business sector. Starting today, Collins will be e-mailing the survey to small business owners across the eight counties of New York’s 27th Congressional District. Small business owners not a part of the Congressman’s e-mail list are encouraged to complete the survey on the Congressman’s Web site.

The survey asks local small business owners to weigh in on such topics as federal regulations, taxes, and the new employer mandate which is part of the President’s healthcare law. Collins is also asking small business owners to report on recent hiring activity, reasons why owners are or are not hiring, and what programs they would like to see the federal government pursue to spur small business growth and development.

“As a small business owner myself, I understand firsthand the challenges and hurdles business owners face on a day-to-day basis,” Collins said. “As a member of Congress, one of my top goals is to continue to push hard for common-sense polices that create the right kind of economic environment for small business entrepreneurs to expand their company or start a new business, and hire more people. While I will continue to visit directly with small business owners all across NY-27, this survey is a great opportunity to hear from a wide array of small business owners so I can best represent their interests in Washington.”

Collins is a member of the House Small Business Committee and chairman of its Subcommittee on Health and Technology. National Small Business Week runs from June 17 through June 21. On June 21, Collins will host a roundtable meeting, talking with small business owners directly about the issues addressed in the survey.

The survey can be found online at chriscollins.house.gov

June 7, 2013 - 10:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, agriculture, farm bureau, immigration, NY-27, chris collins.

House Republicans are staunchly opposed to one element of an immigration reform bill -- a path to citizenship -- that some supporters think is critical to its passage, Rep. Chris Collins said today during an event at Post Farms in Elba.

"As a country that was founded on the rule of law, the first action that these adults took in coming into this country was to break the law, so a pathway to citizenship will not come out the House Republicans," Collins said.

The immigration reform bill is the result of hundreds of hours of negotiations between farmers and the farm labor community, which wants to see people who have been working the the United States for years, although illegally, have a chance to become citizens.

While Collins doesn't support allowing such individuals to become citizens, he said he doesn't see a problem with allowing them to obtain permanent work status.

"Call it a blue card," Collins said. "We're fine with making it so that workers who are now here illegally are stay here legally. Make it so that they can go home and visit their families and come back and we know who they are and where they are and that they pay taxes."

Dean Norton (left in photo), said that if the House Republicans can't be brought into the fold, we could wind up with two versions of immigration bills that will go to conference committee. Losing the path to citizenship will be a disappointment to some members of the coalition who worked on the bill, but he thinks when it comes down to it, both sides need some sort of reform to pass.

"I've got to believe in my heart that once we get people sitting down at the table, they won't do anything to scuttle reform," Norton said. "It's too important to the country and to our food supply."

Collins did say he supports citizenship for the children of workers here illegally.

"This is the country they know and love," Collins said.

June 7, 2013 - 9:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, NY-27, chris collins, Future Farmers of America.

With an eye toward drawing more young people into farming, Rep. Chris Collins appeared at the Post Farm in Elba today to announce his support of a bill that would provide aid and support to aspiring young farmers.

The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act of 2013 is aimed at providing loans, grants and assistance to new farmers.

“Farming and the agriculture industry play a critical role in the economy of our area, and in communities all around the country,” Collins said. “But the average age of our nation’s farmer is 57 years old. With a large segment of America’s farmers and ranchers at or nearing retirement age, we have to encourage young people to enter this challenging, hard and vitally important line of work so we can sustain this economic engine.”  

Collins appeared with members of Future Farmers of America, New York Farm Bureau President Dean Norton and Genesee County Farm Bureau President Jeff Post.

"This will provide an opportunity for young people to get into farming," Norton said.

The bill would:

  • Enable access to land, credit and technical assistance for new producers;
  • Assist new producers to launch and strengthen new farm and value-added businesses;
  • Help new producers become good land stewards;
  • Provide training, mentoring, and research that beginning farmers and ranchers need to be successful;
  • Conduct outreach on agricultural job opportunities for military veterans.

For more on the bill, click here.

Ivy Reynolds, secretary of the NYS FAA, said the bill will ensure that young people like herself with a passion for farming will stick with farming.

"The engagement of young people in agricutlure is key to ensuring that when current owners and operators of New Yorks farms, dairies, nurseries and vineyards are ready to retire, there's a new generation that's ready, educated and excited about their role as the providers of nutrition," Reynolds said.

Post, Collins and Norton.

Reynolds, and a barn cat who stopped by to check out all of the activity.

May 25, 2013 - 9:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in veterans, Memorial Day, NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) honored the late John Chase, a World War II veteran from Batavia today by presenting his family members with the medals he earned in service.

“Today I am proud to pay tribute to John Chase, a man who fought for and defended the freedom of our county so bravely during World War II,” Congressman Collins said. “I am humbled to present his family with the medals he earned during his time in the Army and want to thank him posthumously for his distinguished service.”

Alongside members of the late John Chase’s family and Chairwoman of the Genesee County Legislature Mary Pat Hancock, Congressman Collins shared how John Chase was drafted into the Army, fought in the battle of Rhineland in 1945, and received a Silver Star for his actions.

As John Chase grew increasingly ill, his family reached out to Congressman Collins’ office and asked for help in securing a new medal. In the process, Congressman Collins’ office discovered John Chase also qualified for a Bronze Star, which he had never received.

“I am very proud of the sacrifice my father made to fight for his country. Replacing my father’s Silver Star and finding out that he qualified for a Bronze Star has meant a great deal to our family,” said John Chase’s son, David. “I thank Congressman Collins for helping secure the medals my father earned and for giving us the opportunity to honor his service.”

Congressman Collins honored John Chase on Wednesday by sharing his story on the floor of the House of Representatives, and thanked all of our nation’s veterans for their service.

May 16, 2013 - 8:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, NY-27, chris collins, farm bill.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) voted yesterday to approve the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act of 2013 and move it out of the House Agriculture Committee. The bill was passed by a large, bipartisan vote of 36-10.

“I am proud the committee was able to come together and pass a farm bill that will give American farmers the certainty they need to plan for the future,” Congressman Collins said. “Agriculture is critical to the economy of Western New York, and I am proud to have been able to represent the farmers of my district on this important issue.”

Congressman Collins also helped secure additional funding for the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI), which provides funding to land grant universities, such as Cornell University, to conduct research on specialty crops. Last year’s Farm Bill, which was not passed on the House floor, included $450 million in funding for the SCRI over 10 years. The FARRM Act of 2013 includes $600 million in mandatory funding for the program, which had expired under the current nine-month extension.

Securing funding for the SCRI was important to Congressman Collins as specialty crops farmers across Western New York have consistently cited how critical the ability to conduct research is to their enterprise and industry as it will pioneer new technologies, advanced plant varieties, and help New York farmers generate higher profits.

“New York Farm Bureau is very appreciative of Congressman Chris Collins’ commitment to New York’s farmers. His support in committee of the 2013 Farm Bill sets the stage to provide a stronger safety net for our dairy and specialty crop farmers who help support their local economies,” said Dean Norton, president of New York Farm Bureau.

The legislation also contained major reforms to current U.S. dairy policy. The Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program and Dairy Product Price Support Program have been replaced with a new margin protection program that will better reflect a dairy farmer’s real costs by now equating the cost of feed. This program will ensure Western New York dairy farmers get the support they need to meet the market demands.

The program known as the Dairy Market Stabilization Plan or “supply management,” which would dictate how much a dairy farmer could produce, was also included in the bill. Congressman Collins supported an amendment that would strike this program after hearing near unanimous opinion from his Agriculture Advisory Board that “supply management” would inflate prices for consumers, restrict dairy industry growth, and burden farmers with additional government intervention.

Similar legislation was completed on Tuesday in the Senate Committee on Agriculture. The Farm Bill will now need to be debated on the House floor.

"I am proud of the Committee's effort to advance a farm bill with significant savings and reforms. We achieve nearly $40 billion in savings by eliminating outdated government programs and reforming others. No other committee in Congress is voluntarily cutting money, in a bipartisan way, from its jurisdiction to reduce the size and scope of the federal government. I appreciate the efforts of my colleagues and the bipartisan nature in which this legislation was written and approved. I look forward to debating the bill on the House floor this summer," said House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (OK-3).

Highlights include:

-- FARRM saves nearly $40 billion in mandatory funds, including the immediate sequestration of $6 billion;
-- FARRM repeals or consolidates more than 100 programs;
-- FARRM eliminates direct payments, which farmers received regardless of market conditions;
-- FARRM streamlines and reforms commodity policy while also giving producers a choice in how best to manage risk;
-- FARRM includes the first reforms to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) since the Welfare Reform Act of 1996, saving more than $20 billion;
-- FARRM consolidates 23 conservation programs into 13, improving program delivery to producers and saving more than $6 billion;
-- FARRM builds on previous investments to fruit and vegetable production, farmers markets, and local food systems;
-- FARRM includes several regulatory relief measures to help mitigate burdens farmers, ranchers, and rural communities face;

May 15, 2013 - 8:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

Outraged over recent revelations that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) singled out and targeted conservative political groups, Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) has signed a letter to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew voicing concern and demanding answers.

Drafted by Congressman Jim Bridenstine (OK-1), the letter calls for an explanation regarding reports that Lois Lerner, the IRS head for tax-exempt groups, admitted that the IRS treated conservative political groups unfairly by screening organizations with “tea party” or “patriot” in tax-exempt status applications, and violated IRS policy by asking these groups for donor lists.

“The actions of the IRS are inexcusable. The American people have questions and Secretary Lew, with the ultimate authority over the IRS, must provide answers,” said Congressman Collins. “I am one of many members of Congress, on either side of the aisle, who continues to seek more information.”

This letter is a first step in calling for the responsible individuals to be held accountable, and requests assurance from Secretary Lew that the targeted groups are notified, among other actions.

The full text of the letter can be found here.

May 9, 2013 - 1:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins, health insurance.

Press release:

House Small Business Subcommittee on Health and Technology Chairman Chris Collins (NY-27) today led a hearing to examine the economic effects of the upcoming health care law’s insurance tax on small businesses. Beginning in 2014, the health care law imposes a new tax on the health insurance policies that most small businesses purchase. The amount of the tax will be $8 billion in 2014, increasing to $14.3 billion in 2018, and increase based on premium trend thereafter.

Among today’s witnesses was Dean Norton, an Elba resident and president of the New York State Farm Bureau. Norton testified about the impact of the tax on farmers.

“The health care law is a massive piece of legislation that is making a major impact on our lives and the economy overall,” Chairman Collins said. “The numerous mandates, requirements and taxes, such as the health insurance tax (HIT), are driving up the cost for small businesses to provide health insurance for their employees. This assessment is not a partisan attack. This is a fact, substantiated by independent studies. Both the Joint Committee on Taxation and the Congressional Budget Office, among others, have said they expect a very large portion of this tax to be passed through to the purchasers of insurance in the form of higher premiums, driving up the cost of insurance for families and small businesses.”

“Although the law exempts self-funded insurance plans, small businesses typically do not qualify to self-insure, leaving them to pay higher premiums in a fully funded group plan,” continued Collins. “This law is bad for our economy. Without any relief in sight, it appears that the law will continue to be an anchor holding down small businesses.”

A recent NFIB Research Foundation study estimated that the tax will raise the cost of employer-sponsored insurance by 2 percent to 3 percent, imposing a cost of nearly $5,000 per family by 2020. The study also projects the price increases caused by the tax will reduce private sector employment by up to 262,000 jobs by 2020, with 59 percent of the losses falling in the small business sector.

A 2011 report by actuarial firm Oliver Wyman provided national estimates of the impact of the tax on health insurance premiums. The report found the insurance tax alone “will increase premiums in the insured market on average by 1.9 percent to 2.3 percent in 2014” and by 2023 “will increase premiums by 2.8 percent to 3.7 percent.”

Materials for the hearing are posted on the House Small Business Committee’s Web site HERE.

Notable Quotes:

Dean Norton, president of New York Farm Bureau in Elba, NY, said, “…health insurance costs for small businesses are already rapidly trending higher, increasing 103 percent since 2000. According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, the HIT tax will further increase family premiums by $400 or 2.5 percent in the year 2016, making it even harder for farmers to purchase coverage for themselves, their families and their employees.”

William Dennis Jr., senior research fellow at NFIB Foundation in Washington, DC, said, “The health insurance premium tax was one of the largest revenue components included in the original law to offset the budgetary costs posed by PPACA. Formally structured as a fee on health insurers, this tax was intended to raise more than $100 billion over a decade beginning in 2014. However, both government and independent analysts believe that the tax will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher health insurance premiums.

“The tax falls almost exclusively on small businesses. Their larger competitors have no equivalent obligation. Small businesses, therefore, are asked to absorb a significant share of the financial load of the program while placing them in a less competitive position to do so.”

Ryan P. Thorn, of Ryan P. Thorn Insurance Planning in South Jordan, Utah, said, “The new national health insurance fee that will be imposed on all individual and fully insured group health insurance policies sold in this country from 2014 and forward will impact about 45 percent of all insured residents in Utah. These are the people who are covered by individual, private Medicare and group policies that are fully insured. This means that all risk for the policies is borne by the insurance company. These are the only type of policies that are impacted by the new tax, which means that the Americans who work for and own small businesses around the country are disproportionately affected.”

May 3, 2013 - 9:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) pushed the Main Street Revival Act (H.R. 952) in Batavia today. The bipartisan legislation will help promote economic growth and fill vacancies along America’s main streets. Collins is the lead Republican cosponsor of the legislation in the House.

“If Washington is serious about getting our economy back on track, we need to get serious about supporting American small business,” Collins said. “Encouraging and incentivizing new small businesses, particularly in struggling areas, will be critical to rebuilding our economy and this legislation does just that.”

The Main Street Revival Act would allow a small business to defer payment of payroll taxes for one year after it hires its first employee. The taxes will be paid back in equal installments over the subsequent four years. The deferment would hopefully provide meaningful relief to a new small business, or one which is just at the beginning stages of growth, which is traditionally a hard time for my small business owners.

“The ability to defer payroll taxes for one year may be just enough of a break to help a new small business owner hire one more person or purchase a new piece of equipment,” said Collins. “This legislation represents the practical, commonsense solutions Washington needs to take to nurture small business development, create jobs, and spur real economic development in our communities.”

To encourage growth in hard-hit areas, the legislation provides the tax deferral incentive to businesses located in a Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZones) as defined by the Small Business Administration. In NY-27, sections of Batavia, Depew, Lancaster, Lockport, Medina, and Livingston County are designated as HUBZones.

The bill is also limited to true small businesses, those which expect to hire no more than 25 people during the year period for which payroll taxes can be deferred. Lastly, the H.R. 952 makes clear that nothing in the bill will reduce the Social Security or Medicare trust funds.

Collins was joined by Genesee County Chamber of Commerce President Lynn Freeman who praised the legislation.

Collins is partnering with Congressman Eric Swalwell, Democrat of California, on the legislation. “Good ideas that help our small businesses know no political party,” Swalwell said. “I welcome Rep. Collins of New York as the lead Republican cosponsor of the Main Street Revival Act. This bill was inspired by walking the Main Streets of my district and talking with business owners – Republicans and Democrats – about ways the federal government can help them get off the ground, hire employees and succeed. This is sensible legislation to speed up local economic development in the neighborhoods that need it most.”

May 1, 2013 - 4:06pm

Roger Parkhurst provided Rep. Chris Collins with a tour of the Alpina Foods plant in the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park today.

Parkhurst, left, gave Collins, who sits on the House Agriculture Committee, an overview of Alpina's history, the Greek yogurt market in the United States and the process Alpina uses to make yogurt locally.

The plant started production in October and Parkhurst said the operation has already grown to what it projected for its second year of business. There are 55 permanent employees with Alpina locally, and to help meet production demands, the plant uses up to 100 temporary employees at times.

There are already plans on the drawing board to expand the plant.

April 27, 2013 - 12:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, GO ART!, NY-27, chris collins.

Rep. Chris Collins was at Seymore Place today to announce the winners of the annual congressional art contest. Students from throughout the NY-27 submitted artworks, which were displayed at Go ART! and judged by local artists.

The winner, above with Collins, was Mitchell R. Krumm, of Clarence High School. Second place, bottom photo, was Judith Brennan, also of Clarence.

The awards were presented by Collins and Diana Kasten (second photo with Collins), a member of the GO ART! Board of Directors.

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