Government Affairs Albany Update
January 15, 2010
Legislation directing the Department of Environmental Conservation to adopt and enforce economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions, S.4315 (Thompson), is on the Senate EnCon Committee meeting for next Wednesday. Companion legislation (A.7572/Sweeney) passed the Assembly in 2009 and is currently on the Assembly calendar for floor action.
This legislation would require restrictions on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse emissions from any source, including but not limited to industrial/commercial boilers and process equipment, power generation, fuel processing and others, as well as to residential and commercial buildings, on- and off-road vehicles, and other sources. It mandates that emissions by 2012 not exceed “aggregate levels of greenhouse gas emissions” for 1990, and mandates further emission reductions after that date. These limits would be “enforceable” against emission sources.
The Business Council strongly opposes this legislation – our memo in opposition is available here – and we urge affected businesses to weigh in with their Senate and Assembly representatives.
This week, the Senate and Assembly Democrat majorities, along with the Assembly Republicans, announced new ethics/lobbying legislation (S.6457/A.9544), which would require greater disclosure from lobbyists, restore an independent lobbying commission, mandate greater disclosure of legislators’ outside sources of income and creates a body within the New York State Board of Elections to enforce campaign finance laws.
The new commissions overseeing the executive and legislative branches would both take effect on July 31, 2010. The enhanced disclosure requirements would take effect January 1, 2011. The new commissions would sunset on July 31, 2014. This legislation is scheduled for committee action in the Senate next week.
Of particular interest to businesses engaged in advocacy work, this legislation would:
- re-establish an independent state commission on lobbying;
- provide an exemption from the gift ban for “widely attended events” defined as a gathering related to the attendee’s duties or responsibilities in which at least 25 people are invited or expected to attend; and adds new language to define the gift ban exemption for “nominal food and beverages” as that valued under $10;
- require additional disclosure with respect to consulting services, business before the state and licensed professions;
The legislation is currently on the Senate Codes Committee agenda for next Tuesday.
The Department of Tax and Finance has confirmed that their Article 9A/32 restructuring proposal will not be in the Executive Budget proposal due out next Tuesday, January 19. They will continue with the drafting process, and expect that a bill draft will be circulated within two to three weeks. The Department has said that they remain committed to continuing to work on this initiative with the Business Council and individual businesses.
This week, the Department circulated a revised outline document, plus a status report. The DT&F update is available in pdf format on our web site here.
This January, 2010 update contains several changes on issues of broad concern to business:
- it modifies provisions for use of NOL-related credits, to allow use of up to 1/15th of such credit per year over a 20 year period;
- it specifies that “actual interest expenses” related to exempt interest income will be disallowed; it states that the Department will continue to work with business on potential modifications to its existing expense attribution methodologies;
- it does not include a proposed tax rate. They are still developing a “revenue neutral” rate, and say they may issue their proposed rate by the end of January;
- it does not change provisions related to income from unitary business not included in a combined report, nor net gains or losses from the sale of unitary subsidiaries;
- it does not change the permanent $10 million cap on capital base tax liability;
Staff contact: firstname.lastname@example.org