Back to Home

Government Affairs Albany Update

May 3, 2002

Assembly Power for Jobs Legislation

The State Assembly has introduced legislation to extend the "Power for Jobs" program. Nearly two hundred businesses are currently receiving reduced cost power from the second and third-year phases of this program. Importantly, year-two Power for Jobs contracts, first issued in 2000, will begin expiring this Spring without an extender.

Under this legislation –– A.11252 (Rules @ request of Tonko) –– an additional 183 megawatts of reduced cost power would be available to extend contracts for current program participants, with any surplus power then made available to new applicants. These provisions are similar to S.6245 –– the Governor's program bill introduced earlier this session by Senator Wright.

However, the two bills differ in several respects:

Further, the Assembly bill does not address two issues of concern to utilities: an extension of provisions dealing with the loss of power sales to Power for Jobs participants, and a provision extending tax credits that offset reduced revenues due to program participation.
The Business Council strongly supports extension of the Power for Jobs contracts, and continues to push for a program extension to be addressed through the current budget negotiations.

Support for $6.75 Minimum Wage

At a May 2, 2002 Working Families Party news conference in Manhattan, gubernatorial hopefuls Andrew Cuomo and Carl McCall made a joint appearance urging Governor Pataki to increase the state's minimum wage to $6.75 per hour. It is currently $5.15 per hour.

A. 5132-A (Nolan), calling for a $6.75 per hour minimum wage and with an annual escalator passed the Assembly on April 10, 2002 with a 127 to 19 vote. S. 4749 (Spano), calling for a $6.75 per hour minimum wage but with a different escalator than A. 51323-A, is currently in the Senate Labor Committee.