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Government Affairs Albany Update

December 1, 2006

Berger Report Overview

The Business Council has prepared a summary of the 240 page Berger Commission report on health care faciilties, issued earlier this week. The report itself, and additional information on the Commission's efforts, The Commission recommended that New York State close nine hospitals and eliminate some 7,200 hospital and nursing-home beds, reductions that would save an estimated $250 million per year in annual medicaid costs, and a similar amount in annual private sector health care costs. The report made additional recommendations regarding health care reforms. The Business Council has not yet issued any formal comments on the final report. Earlier this week, both Governor Pataki and Governor-elect Spitzer issue strong statements supporting the Berger Commission recommendations.

Spitzer Imposes Ethics Standards

Governor Elect Eliot Spitzer yesterday announced a series of self-imposed ethics standards and reform measures for the Executive branch, to be implemented as of January 1, 2007. The announcement stated that several of these initiatives would be implemented through Executive Order. Additionally, Spitzer had earlier appointed a Government Reform advisory committee to consider legislative initiatives in these and other areas.

The self-imposed reforms announced yesterday include:

Power Commission Report

The Temporary Commission on the Future of NYS Economic Development Power Programs is scheduled to submit its final report later today to Governor Pataki and the legislature.

The eleven person Commission was created by the legislature during the 2006 session, as part of its one-year extension of provisions related to the Power for Jobs and Economic Development Power programs.

Based on the most recent draft report, the Commission's report is recommending:

The Commission also is recommending that the state add additional generation and transmission capacity to address the state's power supply issues.

Key provisions of the PfJ and EDP programs expire on June 30, 2007, and will require legislative action. The Business Council has supported many of the Commission's recommendations.