JUNE 1998Session ends with a number of important victories for business
When the Legislature adjourned June 19, it ended a session that will be remembered for a number of crucial victories for business, said Daniel B. Walsh, president of The Business Council.
"Our legislators affirmed their commitment to an economic comeback for New York," Walsh said. "They embraced ideas that will enhance our business climate and rejected ideas that would hurt it."
He cited one key achievement of the 1997 session that was overlooked in many end-of-session commentaries because it happened in April: $743 million in tax cuts-including half a billion dollars in business tax cuts-spearheaded by Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno.
Some wins came when lawmakers rejected unwise bills.
Despite a massive campaign by trial lawyers, lawmakers rejected bills that would expand liability and enrich trial lawyers at the expense of business.
The case for rejecting expansions of liability was laid out in An Accident and a Dream, a report released this year by the Public Policy Institute, The Council's research affiliate.
Late in the session, many Council members also participated in a massive letter-writing campaign urging no expansions of liability.
- Expanded the state's Power for Jobs program.
- Decided not to tax Internet-based transactions.
- Rejected a proposal to change the basis of workers' comp premiums from payroll to hours worked.
- Turned down a proposal to force all employers to develop and implement plans to combat workplace violence.
June 25, 1998