Government Affairs Albany UpdateFebruary 16, 2007
- GAC Budget Briefing
- Administration Appointments
- Health Insurance Coverage Hearing
- Business Tax Revenues Are Up – Without Tax Increases
As you know, we held a special GAC meeting this past Tuesday focusing on business issues in the Executive Budget proposal. Below you will find links to the power point presentations (in pdf format) that were presented during the meeting by guest speakers and Business Council staff.
We hope this information will be helpful as you assess company-specific issues and impacts. Please feel free to contact the appropriate Business Council staff person if you would like additional information on budget issues. Business Council staff can be reached at (518) 465-7511, and Kim Fine at (518) 473-4333.
Click on the person's name to view their presentation.
- Kim Fine, Deputy Director of the Division of the Budget
Business Council staff:
- Ken Pokalsky, Director of Environmental and Manufacturing Programs
- David Shaffer, President, Public Policy Institute
Governor Spitzer announced several addition key administration appointments this week. They include:
- John C. Egan as Commissioner of the Office of General Services. Mr. Egan currently serves as President of the Renaissance Corporation of Albany. Mr. Egan also serves as Chairman of the Harriman Research and Technology Development Corporation and as Executive Director of the New York State Task Force on High Speed Rail. Prior to joining the Renaissance Corporation, Mr. Egan served as Chief Executive Officer of the Albany International Airport from 1995 to 2003. He has also served as Commissioner of the New York State Office of General Services, Executive Director of the New York State Dormitory Authority and Commissioner of the New York State Department of Transportation.
- Nancy G. Groenwegen as President of the Civil Service Commission. Ms. Groenwegen has served as Assistant Attorney General in the New York State Department of Law since 2001. Prior to that she was Counsel for Policy and Employee Relations Services for the New York State School Boards Association. From 1993 to 1995, Ms. Groenwegen served as Deputy Commissioner for Legal Affairs and Counsel for the New York State Department of Labor. She was also Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel for the New York State Department of Civil Service from 1991 to 1993.
- Robert Hermann will be appointed to serve as Director of the Governor's Office of Regulatory Reform. Mr. Hermann has worked in private law practice since 1989. In that time, he worked at Thacher Proffitt & Wood, Plunkett & Jaffe, and Teitelbaum Hiller. Previously, Mr. Hermann was Counsel and Director of Project Development at Time Equities, Inc. From 1984 to 1986, he served as Solicitor General of the State of New York under Attorney General Robert Abrams. Mr. Hermann has also served as Attorney-in-Chief for Public Advocacy at the New York State Attorney General's Office and as Legal Director of the Puerto Rico Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc.
- Jerome Lefkowitz as Chairman of the Public Employment Relations Board. Mr. Lefkowitz has served as Deputy Counsel for the Civil Service Employees Association, Inc. since 1987. Previously, he was Deputy Chairman of the New York State Public Employment Relations Board from 1967 to 1986, Deputy Industrial Commissioner of the New York State Labor Department from 1965 to 1967 and Counsel for the New York State Labor Department from 1961 to 1965.
You can find information on all gubernatorial appointments online at: http://www.state.ny.us/governor/appointments/index.html
The Assembly Committees on Insurance, Health and Labor will be conducting a joint hearing on "How to increase health insurance coverage in New York State". There will be two session: Friday, March 9 at 10:00 a.m. in the Assembly Hearing Room, 19th Floor, 250 Broadway, New York City, and Thursday, April 19, at 10:00 a.m. in the City Council Chamber, Rochester City Hall, which is located at 30 Church Street in Rochester.
These hearings seek to determine what steps the state should take to ensure that New Yorkers have access to the health care system and taht the costs of health care are fairly and efficiently distributed. Oral testimony will be limited to 10 minutes in length, and all testimony will be under oath.
Request to speak options:
- Contact Bryan O'Malley of the Health Committee at (518) 455-4941
- Contact Peter Newell of the Insurance Committee at (518) 455-5676
- Use the following reply form:
As part of our response to business tax proposals included in the Executive Buget, Business Council staff has reviewed recent business tax data. New York State business-tax receipts are up sharply in recent years – by 77 percent, or $2.5 billion, from fiscal 2005 to the current year.
More than $1 billion of the total represents increased receipts from audits of businesses' tax returns by the Department of Taxation and Finance. From fiscal 2003 to fiscal 2005, audit receipts for business taxes ranged from $328 million to $497 million, according to the state Budget Division. Such revenues jumped to $1.1 billion in fiscal 2006, and to an estimated $1.5 billion in the current fiscal year.
“This growth can be attributed to a combination of policy actions adopted over the past few years and improved performance of the Department of Taxation and Finance in identifying and concluding productive audits,” the Economic and Revenue Outlook section of Governor Spitzer's Executive Budget reports.
Business Council staff continue to seek information from member companies and chambers of commerce on the impact the Executive Budget tax proposals would have on employers. The Budget Division estimates the total cost to taxpayers at close to $600 million a year.