Almost all regulations passed by the state legislature require a state agency to take a corresponding action. 

According to the new Executive Director of Unshackle Upstate, some agencies are overburdened and understaffed, which is one reason for bureaucratic drag. 

"The idea that every single law that’s enacted is to protect consumers is laudable, however, that’s not the reality," Justin Wilcox told Capital Tonight

He shared one example regarding New York State-licensed mortgage banks which compete with federal institutions.

"If one of those federal mortgage originators wants to come work for a New York mortgage originator, they will need three months (of vetting), because of New York’s bureaucracy," Wilcox explained. "New York takes forever because the regulatory agencies are overburdened. They aren’t able to perform the functions they have to do."

The upshot? 

"You’re driving these mortgage banks out of business in New York, because it takes three months to do in New York what Florida does in seven days," according to Wilcox.

Wilcox is the head of Unshackle Upstate, a coalition that advocates for "fiscally responsible policies that support a vibrant upstate economy."

Here’s his take on where New York is currently:

"We are caught in a downward spiral. We are overtaxed and we have agencies and programs that don’t live up to their intended purposes as a result of years of sweeping funds from them," he told Capital Tonight. "The environment is not conducive to growth. We have people leaving New York, thus reinforcing this negative cycle by increasing the burden on those that remain. The good news is the legislature can alter our course without additional taxation and spending by implementing many of items in our pro-growth agenda."

Wilcox is in his final year as a Monroe County legislator. He's also the owner of a small roofing company, although he said very rarely does he 'still roof.'  

Perhaps more beneficial to his success in Albany is his background as a legislative director to former Assembly Majority Leader (now Congressman) Joseph Morelle. 

"I had a perfect window into how things work in Albany," Wilcox said. "One of the things I learned from Assemblyman Morelle was that it didn’t matter if someone in the room was advocating for issues that Republicans cared about or that Democrats cared about. It was just listen, ask good questions, and let data drive the decisions."

Wilcox will have his work cut out for him this session as New York faces duel crises in both healthcare and the economy.

"We want to ensure that New York recovers in a way that promotes growth for our small businesses and their employees. The last thing we need right now is to create additional incentives for people and businesses to continue leave the state," he said.

Among Unshackle Upstate’s priorities are Scaffold Law reform, unemployment insurance reform, and expanding infrastructure projects, including broadband and roads and bridges.