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Government Affairs Albany Update
January 14, 2011

ADMINISTRATION/TRANSITION

Governor’s Mandate Relief Redesign Team. Governor Cuomo has named Business Council President Kenneth Adams to his “Mandate Relief Redesign Team,” created by Executive Order #6. He joins Kevin Law, President of the Long Island Association and William Mooney, Westchester County Association president, as the business representatives on the panel. The panel is charged with looking for ways to reduce the costs of mandated programs on schools and local governments and identifying opportunities for eliminating or reducing unfunded and underfunded mandates imposed by the New York State government on local governments and school districts. The Business Council welcomes mandate relief recommendations from member companies. The next “team” meeting is next Wednesday, January 19. Staff contact: Lev Ginsburg.

Department of Transportation. Joan McDonald was nominated to be Commissioner of the State Department of Transportation. She is currently serving as the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development. Previously, she was chair of Connecticut Innovations, an authority providing development capital to emerging businesses, Senior Vice President of Transportation for the New York City Economic Development Corporation, and Vice President of Jacobs Engineering.

Additional Appointments. The Cuomo also announced the following appointments:

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

Business Council Action Agenda. The Business Council has released its 2011 New York Growth Agenda, a series of fiscal reforms and policy initiatives designed to improve the state’s competitiveness and produce new private sector investment and job growth. A more detailed discussion of the Council’s position on key legislative issues is available here. These were based on extensive input from Business Council members, and will be distributed to the Administration and full legislature. For more information, or for additional copies, please contact ken.pokalsky@bcnys.org

Legislative Committees. There is a light legislative committee agenda for next week. Among the “highlights”:

Please feel free to contact us for more information, or with comments, on these and other legislative proposals. Staff contact: ken.pokalsky@bcnys.org.

REGULATORY UPDATE

Climate Action Plan. As reminder, The Business Council is in the process of drafting the state’s draft “climate action plan,” issued last November pursuant to then-Governor Paterson’s Executive Order # 24 (see  http://nyclimatechange.us/ for further information.)  The interim report is open to public review and comment through February 7, 2011. 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.

OF INTEREST

Environmental Priorities. A coalition of environmental groups issued their top twelve legislative priorities for 2011, including carry-over issues including restrictions on “hydrofracking,” and additional state-imposed limits on greenhouse gas emissions and finalization of the Paterson-proposed “climate action plan.”  It also includes things like restrictions on use of plastic shopping bags and disclosure mandates for consumer cleaning products. It also wants to make brownfield cleanup standards more stringent, and put additional limits on brownfield redevelopment credits. The document is available here.

Comptroller Report. State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli release a report this week on the future of “public private partnerships” as a mechanism to address the state’s $250 billion in infrastructure needs over the next 20 years, saying that these partnership are a good option for consideration, provided that certain factors – such as accurate assessment of the value of public assets, oversight of pricing mechanisms, and others – are fully evaluated. The full report is available here. The Business Council has urged the state to consider public private partnerships in addressing state infrastructure needs.

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