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Government Affairs Albany Update

January 19, 2007

Governor Spitzer Announces Two Additional Appointments

Governor Eliot Spitzer and Lieutenant Governor David Paterson announced nominations for two senior administration officials.

Richard F. Daines, M.D. is being nominated to serve as Commissioner of the Department of Health. Dr. Daines is President and Chief Executive Officer of St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City. Prior to becoming President, he served as Senior Vice President for Professional Affairs and as Medical Director. Dr. Daines served in a series of clinical and administrative positions at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, including Director of Critical Care, Director of Medical Education, Medical Director and Vice President for Professional Affairs, and Senior Vice President for Professional Affairs. He was also a founding member of the board of Partners in Health at St. Barnabas Hospital. He chaired the Health, Education and Human Services Task Force for Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer from 1998 to 1999 and served as Medical Director at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center. Dr. Daines received his B.A. from Utah State University, and his M.D. from Cornell University Medical College; he did his residency in Internal Medicine at New York Hospital.

Diana Jones Ritter is being nominated to serve as Commissioner of the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities. Ms. Ritter has served as the Executive Deputy Comptroller in the New York State Office of the State Comptroller since 2003. While there, she served in a number of capacities, including Deputy Comptroller in the Division of Administration from 2001 to 2002, Assistant Deputy Comptroller in the Division of Management Audit and State Financial Services from 1995 to 2001 and as Executive Deputy Director in the Office of Public Health from 1993 to 1995. Previously, Ms. Ritter was the Associate Commissioner of Administration and Quality Executive in the New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities from 1990 to 1993. She received her B.S. from Morgan State University.

Burdensome Fees and Permits
Staff Contact: Ken Pokalsky

The Senate Majority is seeking input from Business Council members on "burdensome fees and permits" to modify or eliminate as part of their business tax reduction efforts for 2007. In announcing this initiative on January 9, the Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno said that "eliminating unnecessary or overly burdensome fees and permits" would be a key part of their legislative efforts to strengthen the state's economy and improve its business climate. To date, The Business Council has identified a number of regulatory fees of particular concern, including hazardous waste surcharges, HCRA taxes, insurance industry fees, the System Benefit Charge, and others as having negative impact on business and the economy. The Business Council will be submitting its recommendations to the Senate next week, and we are seeking input from GAC members on additional fees or permit issues that should be considered for amendment or elimination.