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POWER FOR JOBS
2004 Priority Issue

Staff Contact: Ken Pokalsky
Issue:

The PfJ program provides reduced cost power to entities that make specific commitments regarding job retention and growth. About 700 businesses and not-for-profit organizations have benefited from the program since 1998. Overall, they account for nearly 300,000 New York State jobs. While the overall Power for Jobs program does not expire until 12/31/05, many program participants will see their allocations of lower cost power expire during 2004. Further, under current law, all program participants will lose their PfJ benefits by the end of 2005.

Status:
8/12/04

Both houses have approved a PfJ extender bill (see Part T of S.6059-/A.9559B). Key provisions:

  • PfJ recipients will be reimbursed for any benefits lost due to contract expirations between March 1 and November 30, 2004;
  • as of December 1, 2004, Phase 4 and 5 PfJ recipients can apply for either a straight contract extension through the end of 2005, or to participate in the newly created "PfJ savings reimbursement program," which would also extend benefits through 12-31-05;
  • NYPA's financial support of the PfJ program is increased to $275 million, up from $235 million proposed in the Governor's Executive Budget.

6/21/04 The Senate introduced and passed a modified version of the Governor's PfJ bill. S.7601 would provide an PfJ benefit to those participants whose contract expire during state fiscal year 2005; however, the duration of this benefit would not extend past March 31, 2005, and the aggregate benefit would be limited to $10 million, potentially resulting in a reduced benefit or duration for some participants.

The Assembly has not yet taken final action of A.11645; it is still in Assembly Rules as of this AM.

Based on input from Business Council members, we believe that — all other things being equal -- the rebate approach would likely provide the greater net benefits, and greater price certainty, to Power for Jobs recipients.

6/17/04 The Assembly introduced legislation (A.11645/Tonko) that would extend the Power for Jobs program in its current form through December 31, 2008, and would allow the Power Authority to extend the contracts of all current Phase 4 and Phase 5 participants for up to 36 addition months, up to that date. Further, the bill would retroactively provide PfJ savings to Phase 4 recipients whose contracts expire before the effective date of this bill. Under this legislation, the program would primarily be funded using New York Power Authority resources.

6/11/04 The Governor included a limited Power for Jobs program extender in his Executive Budget proposal (S. 6059/A.9559, Section T). This proposal would extend Phase 4 and Phase 5 contracts that expire prior to the end of the Fiscal 2005, with these extensions lasting until March 31, 2005. Under the budget proposal, these extensions would also be done through a rebate program, rather than the current Power for Jobs power acquisition program.

Contact: For more information, contact Ken Pokalsky via e-mail ken.pokalsky@bcnys.org or phone at (518) 465-7511.