Back to Home

Government Affairs Albany Update

August 15, 2001

New Uniform Commercial Code Filing Requirements Signed into Law

The legislation revising Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC-9) was signed into law and became effective July 1, 2001.

UCC-9 will now require financing statements and other UCC records to include more information regarding the debtor than had been required. Filers should be aware that debtor information to be provided in a filing must include:

Filers will now be required to use the National Uniform Commercial Code Financing Statement Forms. Additionally, the Department of State will make available UCC Financing Statement Cooperative Addendum for use when the collateral is a cooperative interest.

UCC filing records received after July 1, 2001 must comply with Revised Article 9. Any financing statement received after the effective date that does not comply with the revisions, will not be accepted.

Anti-plastic Legislation

During last week's "bare bones budget" session, the legislature approved a bill that would restrict the use of plastic piping in multi-family residents and non-residential buildings.
S.5717 (Spano)/A.9331 (Nolan)

This bill has been pushed primarily by the plumbers union, and has been endorsed by few if any other organizations.

The Business Council and other industry groups opposed this legislation.
Our memo in opposition

This bill has not yet been sent to Governor Pataki. It is our understanding that the Department of State, which is in the process of updating the state's building and energy code, will recommend a veto.

Prompt Payment for Construction Contracts

Members with construction projects of any size (by a private corporation) should be aware of the prompt payment for construction contracts bill S.4318-B (Velella)/ A.7698-B (P. Rivera) which passed both Houses in late June. It has yet to be sent to the Governor. The bill defines a construction contract as a written or oral agreement for the construction, reconstruction, repair, alteration, improvement and maintenance of any project that in aggregate exceeds $125,000. New construction or the alteration and expansion of existing plants and building projects that exceed this threshold would be subject to this legislation if enacted.

This bill does not apply to government contracts (state, local, public benefit corporations) nor does it apply to one and two family dwellings or residential track development.

If this bill were to be enacted into law, the right to privately contract for construction would be greatly impacted and altered. The bill would provide for a mandatory prompt payment (or progress payment) schedule between owner and contractor and contractor and subcontractor. Under this system, owners would be required to comply with a strict 21 day period for the payment of vouchers submitted by contractors. The corresponding payment schedule for contractors to subcontractors would be 7 days. Failure to pay these vouchers or contentions arising under this system would result in arbitration of payment disputes with the losing party paying arbitrations and legal fees. The bill also provides for quick termination of the contract by contractors and subcontractors (7 and 3 days respectively).

The Business Council is contacting members companies and preparing a letter to the Governor urging a veto when the legislation is sent to him. We urge members with construction projects in progress or in the planning stages to write to the Governor's Office.

All Time High Records for Electricity Usage

New York State saw its previous all-time high peak for electricity usage of 30,311 MWs on July 6, 1999 eclipsed and topped during the week of August 6-11, 2001. The record for high demand was broken and re-set three times over a three days span which saw soaring temperatures and high humidity.

The record was initially broken on August 7th between 2-3pm when the ISO reported a demand of 30,509 MWs. The following day, August 8th saw a peak of 30,665 MWs between 3-4pm. The record was broken again on Thursday, August 9th at 2-3pm when demand hit 30,983 MWs.

The ISO reported "relatively low mechanical failures" over the week long heat wave. During the week of high temperature and heavy electricity usage the ISO activated some of its peak shedding programs such as the Emergency Demand Response Program (EDRP). The ISO estimated that the combination of conservation and shedding programs yielded more than 1,000 MW in reduced electricity demand.

The record week in demand comes one week after The Business Council was granted party status in the Bethlehem Energy Center's Article X application case. The Council is seeking to represent the economic needs for more electricity in New York State as well as the need to maintain the reliability of the system.