Government Affairs Albany Update
November 19, 2010

Pro-Jobs Agenda - Voters' Guide 2009-2010

Budget Update

Division of Budget Director Robert Megna provided an update on the state’s budget situation at the Rockefeller Institute in Albany. A copy of his presentation is available here. Among the “highlights:”

Megna’s conclusion was that New York simply cannot afford to continue to pay for everything it now pays for, adding that the state has no mechanism to finance the state’s $27 billion transportation infrastructure plan, the MTA or SUNY capital plan, or the state’s 2007 commitment to restructure school aid.

Staff contact: ken.pokalsky@bcnys.org


The Business Council has drafted comments on NYSERDA’s proposal to extend the $180 million per year “system benefit charge” program through the end of calendar 2015 and is looking for final member input on this issue. In general, our comments call for a more detailed consideration of energy investment needs before the Public Service Commission approves another $800 million in assessments; that final approval of any SBC extension should be based on a more detailed operating plan, developed with significant stakeholder input; and any additional SBC funding approved by the PSC should focus on priority grid and technology investments, rather than spending categories receiving significant funding through other sources, such as energy efficiency and workforce development.

Staff contact: ken.pokalsky@bcnys.org

BCNYS Submits Comments on MWBE Rules

The Business Council has submitted comments on Empire State Development’s draft regulations implementing the 2010 “Business Diversification Act.”  The 70 pages of draft rules would impose significant new reporting by businesses wishing to compete for state contracts. While the goal of the new statute (see End of Session Contract Procurement wrap-up) was to expand minority and women owned businesses state contract procurement opportunities through increased set-asides and the establishment of statewide sector standards for contracting with certified MWBEs, the proposed regulations offer little in the way of increasing the shortage of certified MWBEs in NYS, but seek to impose vast new reporting and disclosure requirements by bidders. Additionally, under the proposed regulations, state agencies will have new compliance and audit enforcement authority specifically related to the MWBE language. A copy of the Business Council’s comments submitted on the rulemaking can be found here.   

Staff contact: lev.ginsburg@bcnys.org

Small Business Funding

The Paterson Administration has announced availability of up to $50 million in loans to small businesses across New York State over the next two years, through the State's new Small Business Revolving Loan Fund which was created under the Fiscal 2011 state budget. The funds will be made available through a network of twenty community development institutions and other community-based lending organizations statewide. The program is based on $25 million in State allocations, in combination with $25 million in additional private matching funds from the selected lending institutions. It will support “microlending” of $25,000 and below, as well as larger small business lending of up to $250,000 or above, and will focus on minority and women-owned enterprises and other small businesses that are having difficulty accessing traditional credit markets. Funding applications will be administered directly through the 20 designated financial institutes.  More information on this program is available here.

Staff contact: ken.pokalsky@bcnys.org

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