Government Affairs Albany Update
November 12, 2010

Pro-Jobs Agenda - Voters' Guide 2009-2010


Kenneth Adams, President and CEO of The Business Council, has been appointed to Governor-elect Cuomo’s Council of Economic and Fiscal Advisors.

Congressman-elect Chris Gibson (NY-20) named Business Council member Steve Stallmer (AGC) as Chief of Staff.

Civic Facilities Bill / Prevailing Wage Update

The Governor's Office has drafted a program bill attempting to address the 2008 expiration of the authority of Industrial Development Agencies to provide financing for civic facilities. Governor’s Program Bill #311 authorizes DASNY to finance civic facilities and defines projects over $15 million as "public works" subject to prevailing wage and Section 220 of the Labor Law.

This bill was drafted with input from the building trade unions, and the Governor’s office has expressed a desire to place this on the agenda for a special session to be called before the end of the calendar year. A copy of the bill is available here.

On a parallel note, the Court of Appeals recently opined in determining whether a charter school could be characterized as a public entity for the purposes of prevailing wage mandates. “Only four public entities are specifically identified under Labor Law § 220 (2): the state, a public benefit corporation, a municipal corporation or a commission appointed pursuant to law.”  (In the Matter of New York Charter School Association et al. v. M. Patricia Smith). The fact that charter schools are a creation of the legislature was not sufficient to meet the criteria. In fact, the Court noted that “charter schools are not governed by appointees of the government, but by a self-selecting board of trustees…” and that while charter schools are “hybrid of sorts…they are significantly less ‘public’ than the entities in those four categories.” A copy of the full decision is available here.

Climate Action Plan

The Paterson administration issued its first draft of its climate action plan this week. (See the New York Climate Change Council for further information). The interim report is open to public review and comment through February 7, 2011. The Business Council will be submitting comments, and we are asking for member input. We are in the process of reviewing the 600 page report, and will have a more complete summary available for you next week. Based on an initial review, its recommendations contain many proposals already on the state's legislative and policy agenda (e.g., adoption of state level, industry wide GHG cap and trade program, additional financial incentives for deployment of renewable generation). We look forward to receiving your input. Staff contact: ken.pokalsky@bcnys.org.


The Public Service Commission is considering a proposal for a "system benefit charge" phase IV, which would renew the program at its current $175 million per year for 2011-2016. Note that through the end of State Fiscal Year 2011, the program would have collected and spent about $1.8 billion. The NYSERDA drafted proposal is available here. The complete PSC file on this proceeding is available here. The state register notice of the proposed rulemaking is available here. Comments will be accepted through November 22nd.

Business Council Endorsed Candidates; Scores Big Wins

Seventeen of the twenty-four Business Council Political Action Committee (TBCPAC) endorsed candidates were victorious on Election Day. Two seats remain undermined. TBCPAC is proud to have supported: Governor Andrew Cuomo; Senators Alesi, Farley, Gallivan, O. Johnson, Nozzolio, O’Mara, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Saland, Seward, and Zeldin; Assemblymembers Friend, McLaughlin, Molinaro, Murray and Palmesano.

Statewide: Congratulations to Governor Andrew Cuomo. As expected, Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo scored a decisive victory over Carl Paladino. State Senator Eric Schneiderman defeated Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan for New York State Attorney General. Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli edged out Harry Wilson for New York State Comptroller.

Senate: With recanvassing underway by the county boards of elections, Republicans are optimistic that they will regain Majority status in the New York State Senate. The balance of power for the Senate will be determined by three close races. In Senate District 7 Republican challenger Jack Martins leads incumbent Democrat Senator Craig Johnson. In Senate District 37 incumbent Democrat Senator Suzi Oppenheimer leads Republican challenger Bob Cohen. In Senate District 60 Republican challenger David Grisanti leads incumbent Democrat Senator Antoine Thompson. In issued statements, Senate Republicans are confident that at least two of the races will tilt Republican and Senate Democratic Campaign Committee wants every vote counted. A net gain of two seats means a Republican Majority of 32-30.

Assembly: Assembly Republicans managed to gain seats in a handful of races. Ken Graf (AD 5); Nicole Malliotakis (AD 60); Steve McLaughlin (AD 108); John Cerretto (AD 138); and Andrew Goodell (AD 150) earned victories for the Republicans. However, Assembly Democrats maintain a significant Majority.

Congress: Republicans picked-up seats in the House of Representatives cementing the huge national GOP gains. Republicans Chris Gibson, Richard Hanna, Nan Hayworth, Michael Grimm and Tom Reed were elected. The races in NY-1 and NY-25 are undetermined. U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand were easily reelected.

Please note that all elections results are unofficial.

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