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Government Affairs Albany Update

January 6, 2006

State DOT Releases Draft 25-Year-Plan

Promoting economic sustainability is one of five priorities identified by state transportation planners in the latest 25-year draft transportation plan for New York State.

Other chief concerns for the drafters of the plan are improving system reliability and mobility, enhancing safety, improving environmental conditions and increasing security, especially along New York State's borders.

Transportation Commissioner Thomas Madison Jr. said shifting trade patterns, advancing technology and increased freight and passenger traffic are all combining to stress the transportation system at several key points. The draft plan is designed to serve as a broad blueprint to guide short- and long-term investments in the state's transportation system.

The draft master plan, entitled "Transportation Strategies for a New Age: New York's Transportation Plan for 2030," is subject to a 45-day public comment period, which ends Friday, Feb. 24, 2006. The plan is available at the NYSDOT website at

State Minimum Wage Increases

The second of a three step increase in the New York State minimum wage became law on January 1, 2006.

Last January 1st, the state minimum wage increased to $6.00 per hour from $5.15 per hour as a result of legislative action in 2004. Earlier this week, the second increase to $6.75 per hour became effective. The final step to $7.15 per hour will occur on January 1, 2007.