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Government Affairs Albany Update

February 26, 1999

Governor Signs Executive Order to Form Workers' Compensation Special Funds Study Commission

On February 25th the Governor signed Executive Order #91 to form the Workers' Compensation Special Funds Study Commission. New York maintains numerous special funds for purposes of ensuring long-term payout of certain workers' compensation claims and distributing the cost of certain claims among employers in the state. Special funds assessments in New York constitute approximately 6% of the workers' compensation premium paid by employers.

The Business Council strongly supports this commission as it will review the purposes for which the funds were established, assess whether the funds are fulfilling their purposes, and examine the financial condition of the funds, including historical assessment patterns, payout patterns or the funds, and their unfunded ultimate liabilities.

The Commission will be made up of 15 members appointed by the Governor. The Business Council has been given one of these appointments.

Senator Bruno's Jobs 2000 Economic Development plan

Senator Bruno announced the contents of his Jobs 2000 Economic Development plan, or the "J2K" plan at a SUNY-Cornell research conference last week. His press release is enclosed for your review. The four-part plan would invest $262 million over a multi-year period to rehab and construct research facilities at university research centers, establish a job training program for incumbent workers along the lines that The Business Council has recommended, and fund water system projects that are linked to economic development purposes. The plan would also consolidate the NYS Science and Technology Foundation and Technology and certain technology-related programs in the State Department of Education into a new Office of Higher Education and Technology. A copy of the plan is enclosed. The Business Council would like to receive comments from members that are interested or impacted by these proposals. Comments or questions should be directed to Ken Pokalsky.

Governor Announces First Round of Power for Jobs Allocations for 1999

Governor Pataki has announced the first round of Power for Jobs allocations approved by the Economic Development Power Allocation Board (EDPAB) last week. Included in the latest EDPAB recommendations were 25 large businesses, 11 small businesses and nine not-for-profit institutions. The Power for Jobs program makes low cost power available to businesses and not-for-profit institutions that promise to retain or create jobs in New York State. A copy of the Governor's release detailing the latest round of allocations is enclosed for your' review. An application for Power for Jobs can be requested by calling the New York State Power Authority at 1-888-562-7697. If you require additional information or have questions regarding the Power for Jobs program.