Back to Home

Government Affairs Albany Update

May 23, 2008

Business Council Launches “E-Avocacy” Campaign on Paid Family Leave

The electronic advocacy portion of the campaign against the paid family leave mandate proposals, bills S.5821 and A.9245, was launched this week.

The Business Council is also collaborating with local and regional chambers through its Chamber Alliance of New York State (CANYS) to promote this effort to their members. This same collaboration is also being coordinated through other allied associations and trade groups.

This electronic tool gives business owners and others the ability to voice opposition to the paid family leave mandate quickly and easily.

Business Council members are urged to click on the link and use the tool to communicate their opposition to the paid family leave mandate to the Governor, the state legislative leadership as well as local state Senators and Assembly Members.

Stem Cell Strategic Plan

The State's Stem Cell Board has issued a draft strategic plan for public review and comment period runs through June 13.

This strategic plan is intended to guide the spending of $300 million in research investments over the next five years. Under development for the past several months, it has already undergone extensive review and comment by the Stem Cell Board's Funding and Ethics Committees.

Business Council President Kenneth Adams sits on both the Board and the Funding Committee, and has been arguing for an increased emphasis on economic development outcomes related to the state's stem cell investments, giving greater recognition to the state's long term goals of not only of commercializing therapies, but commercializing them in New York State.

For example, The Business Council has argued that the Strategic Plan should make clear that while NYSTEM's direct focus is on research, it is part of a broader long term plan to help move new therapies from lab to market, and to expand our state's biotech industry. We also recommended that there should be an annual, rather than tri-annual, evaluation of NYSTEM's economic impacts. As a result, we believe that this draft strategic plan does have more of an economic outcome focus.

The Business Council will be submitting additional comments, based on input from member companies. We are looking for additional input from Business Council stakeholders on the overall investment strategy, and on any specific categories of investments that should be considered in the plan. If you are interested in participating in our review and comment process, please contact Ken Pokalsky at your earliest convenience.

Business Council Requests Fact-Based Study on Proposed Large Truck Regulations

At the request of New York State Department of Transportation's (DOT) Commissioner, Astrid Glynn, The Business Council has met with DOT executive staff about the scheduled June release of draft regulations for “large trucks” in Central New York and the Finger Lakes. At issue is a proposal by the NYSDOT to define and regulate “large trucks” hauling solid waste and other materials on local roads in Central New York and the Finger Lakes region stretching along I-90, I-390, I-86, Route 17 and I-81 boundaries. Currently, trucks legally utilize local roadways due to soaring diesel gasoline prices and the recent NYS Thruway toll hike.

The Business Council requested that the proposed draft regulations should include a new fact-based study by the DOT to measure the economic impact on taxpayers, municipalities and the actual volume of “large trucks” in the region to fully assess the need for additional regulations. Regulation without proper research could have a chilling effect on an already struggling upstate economy.

Lobbying Continues In Opposition To Custom Fabrication Prevailing Wage Mandate

The Business Council and representatives of the construction industry continued lobbying efforts in opposition to legislation that would impose a prevailing wage mandate on certain off-site custom fabrication for related public works projects. The Council stated that along with the Wick's Law changes enacted in the State Budget, this legislation would drive construction jobs and businesses to surrounding States.

With a faltering economy, declining tax base, and soaring energy prices, this legislation (S.6797 Marcellino/A.6598 John) would have dire consequences for taxpayers by significantly increasing the cost of public works projects. Finally, the legislation is absolutely counter productive to Governor Paterson's efforts to curtail excessive government spending. To read the memo click here.

This week, The Business Council and construction industry representatives met with Senators DeFrancisco, Golden, Padavan, Volker and Maziarz.

Kenneth Adams Lobbies Senate and Assembly Banking Committee Chairmen

Business Council President Kenneth Adams has met with Senator Hugh Farley and Assemblyman Darryl Towns, chairmen, respectively, of the Senate and Assembly Banking Committees, about legislative proposals to remedy the so-called “sub-prime mortgage crisis.”  Mr. Adams cautioned that the bills as proposed by the Governor and Legislature would have serious economic repercussions on the struggling global financial services industry and may limit consumer choice.

For additional details about the Council's lobby effort, please contact Walter Pacholczak, Director of Government Affairs.

Innovation, Workforce Development Committees to Convene On Service Science & Professional Science Masters

Business Council members are invited to a June 30th roundtable discussion on Service Science, which emphasizes interdisciplinary skills to support innovation in service industries, and Professional Science Masters, which is designed to allow students to pursue advanced training in science or mathematics, while simultaneously developing workplace skills highly valued by employers. The discussions will be led by SUNY Oswego's David King, Director of the SUNY Sloane Foundation grant, and representatives from IBM. The meeting will be held from 1:00 to 3:00 pm at The Business Council offices at 152 Washington Avenue and is intended to develop a stronger dialog between the private sector and the higher education sector on the alignment of STEM content in higher education curriculum with employer's needs.

GAC Update Archives