Legislative Memo

Ken Pokalsky


S.5866 (Wright) / A.8960 (Rules/Tonko)



Economic Development Power Programs



June 23, 2005


The Business Council of NYS, Inc. strongly supports this legislation which extends and modifies several significant low cost power programs run by the New York Power Authority (NYPA).

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.

This legislation helps address the cost-of-power issue by:

In addition to extending these important low cost power programs, the bill broadens the criteria that will be used in evaluating contract approvals and extensions. 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 that are indicative of a business' overall health and commitment to New York, in making contract decisions.

For these reasons, The Business Council urges approval of S.5866 and A.8960.

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 legislator's action on key issues of concern to the state's business community.