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Government Affairs Albany Update
January 15, 2010

Economy-wide GHG Restrictions

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.

Ethics Reform Legislation

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:

The legislation is currently on the Senate Codes Committee agenda for next Tuesday.

Business Tax Restructuring Update

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:

Otherwise,

Staff contact: ken.pokalsky@bcnys.org

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