Government Affairs Albany Update
April 24, 2009

Economic Development Funding

ESDC President Marisa Lago announced that, within several weeks, the agency would be issuing “requests for proposal” for funding through two programs adopted in last year's budget.

Lago's announcements were made during her presentation to the Senate Corporations Committee meeting on Wednesday. No further details on the RFPs are yet available. Staff contact ken.pokalsky@bcnys.org.

Senate Majority MTA Plan

Next week, the State Senate will likely vote on a bill (S.4487-Dilan) to help fund the cash-strapped Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The $1.4 billion plan includes a .34 to .25 percent regional payroll tax of either $0.34 or $0.25 per $100 of payroll (counting wages and benefits, depending on location), a $1 taxi surcharge, a 25 to 30 percent increase on driver licenses, an additional $25 for vehicle registrations, and a 5 percent hike in the tax on car rentals. The plan differs from proposals by Governor Paterson and Assembly Speaker Silver.

The Business Council is actively opposing the regional payroll tax, saying it's “a bad idea to impose a tax on major sectors of our economy anywhere in the region at a time when they are struggling to survive.” Council Members have sent over 11,000 grassroots advocacy messages to the Governor and Legislature opposing the regional payroll tax. 

Council Hosts Albany E-Discovery Day

The Business Council lead a coalition of more than 20 member companies that lobbied legislators about the necessity of electronic discovery reform in New York. Our e-discovery coalition discussed proposed amendments to A.6000 with Assembly bill sponsor Mark Weprin and other legislators and staff in both houses. A.6000 would expand the ability to access electronic documents in litigation. Our proposed amendments would result in significant savings for both government agencies and taxpayers at time of exceptional state economic challenges. For additional information about The Council's e-discovery coalition and upcoming lobby days.

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