Government Affairs Albany Update
July 16, 2010
- ESDC Roundtable Presentation on Excelsior Job Creation Program
- Governor Introduces New Revenue Bill; Legislature Says "No Thanks"
- Governor Signs Into Law Expansion of MWBE Procurement Legislation
ESDC Chair Dennis Mullen continued his statewide forums to discuss the new Excelsior program with an Albany roundtable earlier this week. Their formal presentation is available here. Major points made by ESD included:
- Excelsior as adopted has sufficient resources, and is comparable to Empire Zones. ESDC is arguing – see slide 3 for the “anchored” v. “strategic” industry table – that, after conceding to move transportation/warehousing sector into the “strategic industry” category, the $337 million (2009 data) in credits for anchored businesses were poor investments. Comparing the $205 million for “strategic” industries to the full value of Excelsior in year 5 ($250 million), ESDC’s position is that Excelsior will be at least as effective, and more efficient, than Empire Zones in achieving high value economic development.
- Excelsior is not the state’s only tool, and by making more effective use of other incentives (see slides 2 and 4), ESDC said their programs are “comparable with other states” and that New York “can compete effective for “any project.”
The Business Council welcomes member feedback on the new Excelsior program, as you complete your review of the new statute and the accompanying presentation from ESD.
On Tuesday, July 13, Governor Paterson presented a revised draft to his proposed Revenue Budget Bill. The bill includes all the major provisions of his preceding draft, with the exception of the cigarette tax enacted as part of the Health budget bill, the sugary beverage tax, the new tax on out-of-state hedge fund managers, and authorization for wine in grocery stores. It also contains a revised public university empowerment plan, a four percent property tax cap, and a contingency plan for an anticipated denial of $1.06 billion in expected Federal FMAP (Medicaid) increases.
The Senate ended the legislative session without acting on the revenue bill adopted by the Assembly which did not include either a property tax cap or the public university empowerment language. The Governor produced the new bill in an effort to address the Senate’s concerns importance of and to finalize the SFY 2010-11 Budget process. The Senate and Assembly refused to accept the new draft, arguing that the time had long passed for the Governor to unilaterally amend his budget proposals.
The Business Council continues to support the wine in grocery stores initiative, and commends the Governor for attempting to reintroduce a meaningful property tax cap and the empowerment plan back into the discussion. The Business Council continues to oppose many of the measures in both the Governor’s and the Assembly bill, including the deferral of over $2 billion in investment and employment tax credits, the Brownfield credit claw-back, and other tax increases targeted at businesses.
Governor Paterson signed into law four measures intended to address MWBE disparities in government contracting that were identified within a comprehensive multi-year study and report commissioned by the New York State Department of Economic Development and released in April 2010. The four new laws include:
- Governor's Program Bill No. 297 (S.8312/ A.11525), which raises the cap on discretionary purchases that a State agency can award to MWBEs or small businesses from $100,000 to $200,000.
- Governor's Program Bill No. 298 (S.8313/ A.11526), which expands contracting practices of public authorities granting increased opportunities for MWBE participation. Additionally, requires that the procurement guidelines for each State public authority include the designation of one or more senior staff to oversee the authority's MWBE program and requires that procurements be conducted to achieve the authority's MWBE goals to the maximum feasible extent.
- Governor's Program Bill No. 299 (S.8314/A.11527), which expands and strengthens the State's program for MWBE contracting, and authorizes a new and more thorough disparity study before the provisions relating to the MWBE program expires in 2014, including in-depth review of contractors' hiring and promotional practices. This legislation will also create the position of Chief Diversity Officer to oversee the MWBE program and diversity issues in the workforce from within the Executive Chamber.
- Emerging Investment Managers Bill (S.6888/ A.9976), which targets non-executive agencies, and that control large pools of money for investment: the Comptroller, the State Insurance Fund and the Deferred Compensation Board. This legislation will provide emerging investment managers the ability to invest with MWBE financial institutions and to adopt a strategy that motivates investments in underserved regions of the State.