Back to Home

Government Affairs Albany Update

November 29, 2007

Business Council Staff News

The Business Council has announced two new additions to its advocacy and member services staff.

Heather Briccetti has been named Vice President of Government Affairs. She joins us with significant government affairs and legal experience in both the private and public sectors. Her legal work includes serving as Chief Public Defender of Rensselaer County, Special Counsel to the New York State Attorney General and six years as Assistant Counsel to the New York Senate Majority, where she specialized in issues such as state budget reform, environment, economic development and consumer protection. For the past two years, Heather has served as a consultant and lobbyist for Powers and Company, a government affairs firm here in Albany. Heather earned her B.A. degree in Political Science from SUNY Binghamton and her law degree from Albany Law School.

Maggie Moree will be joining the Government Affairs team as Director of Federal Affairs. In addition to expanding the Council's role in key federal issues affecting New York, such as homeland security, Maggie will be responsible for state-level advocacy on workforce development, government procurement and unemployment insurance issues. Maggie served as the state Department of Labor's director of workforce development and training for six years, and as Deputy Commissioner of Federal Programs for the past two years. As Deputy Commissioner, she was responsible for the agency's unemployment services, workforce, Trade Act and apprenticeship activities. Prior to her service with the Department of Labor, Maggie held posts in the Governor's office and a variety of positions during 12 years of service in the New York State Senate.

Business Council Transportation Committee Convenes Meeting About New York's Aging Infrastructure

On November 15, 2007, members of The Business Council Transportation Committee gathered in Albany to discuss the state of New York's aging transportation infrastructure. Committee Chairman and General Manager of Southern Tier Logistics, John Armstrong welcomed NYSDOT Executive Deputy Director Stan Gee; NYS Thruway Authority Executive Director Michael Fleischer; and President of Spectra Subsurface Imaging, and former NYSDOT Commissioner Thomas Madison to the meeting.

Executive Deputy Director Stan Gee made a presentation about the New York State Department of Transportation 20-Year Needs Assessment Plan (2010-2030). The NYSDOT 20-Year Needs Assessment Plan outlines the current state of the transportation system; system trends and conditions; and a preliminary $175.2 billion multi-modal capital investment strategy.

Executive Director Michael Fleischer outlined the 2007-2011 NYS Thruway capital program; customer service initiatives; and financial plan including the proposed toll hike. Mr. Fleischer detailed the Authority's commitment to maintaining and operating the highway; delivering high levels of safety and service; improving the travelers' experience and implementing a capital improvement plan. Mr. Fleischer stressed that the Thruway Authority's commitments are challenged by mounting fiscal constraints that jeopardize the ability to execute the capital program and customer service initiatives.

Thomas Madison, President, Spectra Subsurface Imaging, provided an overview of New York's aging transportation system, fiscal constraints and an innovative public/private partnership (P3) financing method. Mr. Madison discussed the tremendous benefits of P3 financing that would bring billions in private capital; create jobs, provide technical innovation; limit risk and deliver projects on-time within budget. Mr. Madison's P3 presentation stimulated a vigorous discussion among Business Council Members. A majority of Members viewed P3 financing as a dynamic and promising alternative to the traditional funding methods of increasing taxes and debt.

Each presentation is available on The Business Council web site. Walter Pacholczak, Director of Government Affairs said that the next Transportation Committee meeting will be in early 2008.