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Government Affairs Albany Update

May 20, 2005

Senate Hearing on Identity Theft / Breach of Computer Databases

The Senate Committees on Investigations & Government Operations, Chaired by Senator Nick Spano, and the Committee on Consumer Protection, Chaired by Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. are holding a hearing on identity theft and breach of security databases. The hearing is Tuesday, May 24 at 1:00 p.m. in Hearing Room A of the Legislative Office Building in Albany. All individuals wishing to testify must notify John Turoski, Committee Director for Senator Spano. The phone number is (518)455-2231. The Business Council will be submitting testimony.

Vehicle Emission Standards

Following up on an initiative included in Governor Pataki's 2004 State of the State address, the Department of Environment Conservation has proposed regulations that would implement California's carbon dioxide vehicle emission standards. The proposal appeared in this week's State Register. Copies of the proposed regulation and the regulatory impact statement are available on the DEC's web site at: www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dar/air_regs.html

This proposal would impose new CO2 emission standards on new passenger cars, light duty trucks (up to 8,500 lbs. GVW), and medium duty passenger vehicles (up to 10,000 lb. GVW) sold or registered in New York, beginning with the 2009 model year. As is the case with the California rule, manufacturers can earn compliance credits through the sale of alternative fuel vehicles. DEC projects a short term cost impact of between $277 and $370 per vehicle, with initial costs expected to be offset by lower operating expenses (in effect, vehicles have to be made more fuel efficient in order to reduce CO2 emissions.)

New York first opted into the California vehicle emissions program in 1992, and has made several rule changes since then to keep pace with changes in the California car program. Under the Clean Air Act, states basically can elect to meet federal vehicle emission standards, or the California standards, for which that state has received a waiver from the EPA.

The rule is subject to a 45-day public comment period, and DEC will be holding four regional public hearings on the proposal.

State "Labor Neutrality" Law Overturned

A federal appeals court in Syracuse has declared that New York State's two year old controversial, union-friendly "labor neutrality" law is pre-empted by the federal National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

Click here for our news article.

Click here for the court decision.

Additional Taxation & Finance Topics Added to Tax Conference Program

Added to the Conference On State Taxation program, to be held at the Gideon Putnam, Saratoga Springs on June 1 - 3, are: