Government Affairs Albany UpdateApril 11, 2003
The Senate Transportation Committee voted to report an industry supported divisible load bill, S.2974 (Kuhl), on Tuesday, April 8th to the full Senate. The bill language was also included in the executive budget as S.1409-A, Part C earlier this year. Minor technical changes to S.2974 are expected in order to match it with the budget language. The legislation would expand the number of divisible load permits from 17,000 to 25,000 over five years, unify the penalty system and add additional safety equipment requirements. The issuance of these permits through the Department of Transportation would provide approximately $3.3 million in annual revenue to the state. This bill does not require any additional permits in New York City, whose issuing entity is the New York City Department of Transportation not the state DOT. The need for additional permits is of grave concern to the shipping and trucking industries, the industrial and commercial customers they serve, and the private sector transportation system in New York State overall. The additional permits are crucial to the delivery of goods and commodities in the construction, logging, agriculture and other shipping industries. The Business Council and several other industry associations have issued memos in support of the legislation.
Language in the "old" state smoking law that provided waivers from the workplace smoking ban for factories and warehouses has been removed, under the new smoking law signed by the Governor on March 26, 2003. Provisions of the new law become effective on July 24, 2003.