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Government Affairs Albany Update

March 17, 2006

Government Affairs Council to meet Monday, March 20th

The Government Affairs Council is meeting Monday, March 20th starting at 10:00 a.m. The featured speaker will be State Comptroller Alan Hevesi. Business Council staff will provide updates on budget deliberations, including the status of business tax cuts, workers' comp reform, the so-called "Wal-Mart" health-care bills and the status of the state's Power for Jobs program. Margarita Mayo will give a presentation on Just for The Kids. Ken Pokalsky will update the group on new Lobby Commission guidelines.

Senate Passes Broad-based Business Tax Reductions

On Monday of this week the Senate passed by a vote of 40 - 18 Senate bill number S.6460B. The bill was developed by the Senate Majority and was passed as part of the Majority's Fiscal Year 2006-2007 State Budget for the year commencing April 1. The measure then went to the Assembly Ways & Means Committee -- whose Majority on Monday passed their own tax change bill (A.10258) as part of their house's FY 2006-2007 State Budget.

Senate bill 6460B contains the following broad-based business tax reductions -- none of which are in A.10258:

State Lobbying Commission Report
Staff Contact: Ken Pokalsky

At yesterday's meeting, the State Lobbying Commission elected a new chairman, Paul Shectman, adopted a “zero gift” policy for Commission members and staff, and made several significant changes in their interpretation of the statutory limit on “gifts” from lobbyists and clients to public officials. The Commission also issued their annual report on lobbying expenses and activities for 2005, but held off on any recommendations for legislative changes until at least their April 4 meeting.

In finalizing their revised guidelines on Lobbying Act compliance, the Commission agreed to the following changes regarding the definition of gifts:

In other changes:

The intent is to have the final version of these compliance guidelines on the Commission web site next week. The State Lobbying Commission's 2005 Annual Report is available online today at: