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Legislative Memo

BILL:

S.5200 (Wright)
A.7706 (Tonko)

  Support

SUBJECT:

Power for Jobs Program

 

DATE:

May 18, 2005

 

The Business Council of NYS, Inc. supports this legislation which restores flexibility to the Power
for Jobs program. Specifically, this legislation allows the New York Power Authority (NYPA) to
consider “reasonable factors” in addition to job retention in considering the extension or
reinstatement of a Power for Jobs allocation. In doing so, it restores the program to its pre-2004
format; language restricting NYPA's discretion was inserted into the law as part of program
extension legislation approved last session.

Electric power costs continue to be a significant competitiveness issue for New York State
businesses, and especially for manufacturers. Industrial facilities often face in-state power rates
two to three times higher than those paid by out-of-state competitors. Combined with other
adverse cost-of-doing business factors in New York – high property taxes, high comp costs, and
others – the state's industrial sector continues to struggle.

In addition, as manufacturers in New York and worldwide continue to innovate in the race to
become more efficient, looking at employment levels only is an inadequate measurement of a
business' long-term commitment to staying in New York State. This legislation allows NYPA to
consider factors such as capital investments, R&D investments, and other factors indicative of a
business' overall health and commitment to New York, in making PfJ contract decisions.

More than 120 Power for Jobs participants have contracts at risk – or have already lost their PfJ
allocations – due to the lose of NYPA flexibility in administering this program, placing thousands of
New York jobs at risk, including many high-paying manufacturing jobs. This legislation will result
in restoration of at least partial PfJ benefits for these businesses.

For these reasons, The Business Council urges timely approval of S.5200 and A.7706.


This legislation will be included as one of the scoring measurements of The Business Council's
“Vote for Jobs Index 2005"
. This is The Business Council's annual assessment of legislators'
actions on key issues of concern to the state's business community