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Government Affairs Albany Update

December 13, 2001

Draft State Energy Plan Released

The draft New York State Energy Plan (SEP) was adopted on December 11th by the State Energy Planning Board at its meeting in Albany. The Board is comprised of the heads of the departments of Environmental Conservation, Public Service, Transportation, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), and Empire State Development. NYSERDA serves as the lead agency of the Board. The staffs of the combined departments presented an outline of the topics included in the draft SEP. Some of the topics and the agencies presenting information are as follows:

Between January and March, 2002, the Board will hold eight (8) hearings around the state. The Board will adopt a final SEP, after public comment and by next summer. The Board is asking for business input and testimony on the proposed SEP. The Business Council will be submitting formal comments on the draft SEP. Copies of the draft SEP will be available through NYSERDA. Once the public hearing dates are released they will be forwarded to interested members.

ISTEA Works in New York Coalition

New York State has recently re-established its ISTEA Works in New York Coalition in order to prepare for several federal transportation programs that will expire in 2002 and 2003. The committee was formed during the 1990's to advocate for New York State's transportation needs in light of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Act (ISTEA) which provided federal money to transportation programs and systems in New York. The Coalition is comprised of about 150 individuals and organizations from both the public and private sector. Members are from the transportation, construction, and engineering sectors, labor, public authorities, transportation coalitions, and other related industries.

With the scheduled expiration of ISTEA's successor act, the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century or TEA-21, The Business Council is again participating with the New York Coalition to insure our state's interests are protected when TEA-21 is reappropriated by Congress. The Business Council will be reaching out to interested transportation and construction members in order to help New York State bolster its efforts in this area.

We will be inviting members from the Coalition and the State Department of Transportation (DOT) to discuss this issue with The Council. This is an opportunity for member companies to work with state and regional transportation authorities and groups, and the Council's Transportation Committee. We hope to encourage strong partnerships on this issue in order to work collaboratively on New York's transportation needs. Periodic updates from Coalition meetings will be forwarded to the members of The Business Council.

New PPI Analysis Finds New York State's Balance of Payments Deficit with Washington Higher Than Ever

New York State's "balance of payments" deficit with the federal government was more than $47 billion in fiscal 2000, the largest ever, according to a new analysis by The Public Policy Institute outlines the findings in a letter to members of New York's Congressional delegation. Click here to direct you to our press release.