Back to Home

Government Affairs Albany Update

April 15, 2005

DOH Holds Medicaid Disease Management Bidder's Conference

The state Department of Health held a bidder's conference for the Medicaid Disease and Care Management Demonstration Programs created as part of the 2004-05 budget (and amended in the 2005-06 budget to increase the number of demo programs). The conference, held in Albany on April 12, drew a large crowd. Staff from the Department presented a brief overview of the Medicaid system in New York -- 2 million recipients are in managed care and 2 million are in fee-for-service -- and then informed the audience about the technical aspects of bidding. Bidders may only submit one proposal for one region of the state.

The state is broken into four regions:
1) Northeastern;
2) Western;
3) Metropolitan (suburbs of NYC);
4) New York City

The Department also gave a procurement timetable:
1) a letter of intent to bid is due April 26;
2) closing date for receipt of a proposal is May 31;
3) bidders will be selected on August 17.

Complete RFP information can be found at: Look under "Grants/Funding Opportunities", "RFP...", "Medicaid Disease and Care Management Demonstration Programs"

Budget Chapter Amendments

NOTE: Click here for a full budget summary.

S.3671 was signed into Law by Governor Pataki on April 12 as Chapter 61 of the Laws of 2005 after a three-way (Executive/Senate/Assembly) agreement on a chapter amendment (S.4271) thereto. The chapter amendment passed both houses and was signed into Law by the Governor (chapter number not yet released). Among the changes in the Chapter Amendment were:

Single Sales Factor Apportionment (Part A)

Tobacco & Motor Fuel Sales to non-Native Americans (Part K)

Tax Shelter Provisions (Part N) (found on pp. 74 & 75)

Empire Zone Revisions (Part W)

Additional Mortgage Recording Tax (Part X)

Full text of Chapter 61 and Chapter Amendment S.4271 are available online.



Empire Zones

The Empire Zone language adopted as part of this year's budget is found as Part W of S.4271/A.7298. Key provisions include the following:

EZ Administration -- The proposed three-voting-member Empire Zone control board was not approved. The program will continue to be managed by the pre-existing Empire Zone Designation Board, whose voting membership consists of five administration officials and two legislative appointments. A three way memo of understanding is required for the designation of additional zones authorized by the bill; unanimous approval of the designation board is required for the boundary amendments required of existing zones.

Grandfathering -- Existing QEZEs (qualified empire zone enterprises) will not have their benefit calculations or durations changed by this legislation, with one limited exception (“zero-base” businesses certified before August 2002 whose creation served no “valid business purpose,” e.g., for the sole purpose of qualifying for EZ benefits). Therefore, QEZEs certified prior to the effective date of this bill, and QEZEs that fall outside of an Empire Zone because of zone boundary amendments, will not have their benefits affected:

Regionally Significant Projects -- The legislation authorizes zone benefits for “regionally significant projects” located outside of Empire Zone boundaries. These are defined as a manufacturing project creating more than 50 jobs, an agri-, high tech or biotech business that makes a capital investment of more than $10 million or creates twenty or more jobs. The zone designation board has discretion to approve other regionally significant projects on a case by case basis.

Additional Zones -- The law authorizes the creation of three additional zones in each of the next four years; the bill specifies that these zones will be designated from a list of eleven counties (all currently without zones) and the “Chinatown” section of New York City.

Zone Reconfiguration -- All existing Empire Zones are required to be reconfigured, so that all zone acreage designated by "investment zones" (i.e., census tract zones) are contained within three separate contiguous areas, and "development zones" (i.e., county-wide zones) must have all acreage within six distinct and separate contiguous areas.

Program Extension -- The overall Empire Zone program is extended through July 1, 2015.

Benefits for Future QEZEs -- For QEZEs certified after 4/1/05, the duration of QEZE benefits will be ten, rather than twelve years. In addition, these QEZEs will be subject to new real property tax (Section 15) benefit criteria that calculates EZ benefits based on wages and benefits paid to employees, rather than on the number or percentage increase of new jobs.

Agricultural Cooperatives -- A new Empire Zone tax credit program was established for agricultural cooperatives. However the Governor's proposal for new ag business zones was not adopted.

Accountability -- The law contains new and expanded accountability/reporting requirements for local zone boards.

RPS Implementation

The Public Service Commission voted this week to approve the implementation plan for the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). The plan is designed to assist in increasing the portion of electricity derived from renewable resources (i.e., wind, solar, etc.) used by New York's energy consumers to 25% by 2013.

In adopting this program in September, 2004, the Commission issued an order which set annual incremental renewable energy targets for the years 2006 - 2013. Additionally, the order required the use of financial incentives to encourage the development and operation of eligible renewable generation facilities and directed the use of a non-by-passable wires surcharge to raise the revenue necessary to support the program.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) will act as administrator of a central procurement process, and will be responsible for procuring RPS resources.

To inform consumers about the program, the plan requires investor-owned utilities to develop a statewide consumer education program, which will include an explanation of the expected benefits, the billing and pricing impacts associated with the increased used of renewable energy sources, and modifications to the state's environmental disclosure label.

The order, when ready, can be obtained from the commission's web site, by accessing the Commission Documents section of the home page and referencing case number 03-E-0188.