Government Affairs Albany Update
January 21, 2011


Senate “Job Creation & Taxpayer Protection Act” – This week, the Senate passed a package of three bills intended to promote job creation and impose fiscal disciplin on the state. These included:

A number of business groups, including The Business Council, supported the Senate’s actions. Business Council President Kenneth Adams said, "The Senate Republicans are on the mark to focus on controlling state spending and taxes to create jobs. A state spending cap is a necessary reform to bring fiscal sanity to New York."

Governor Cuomo is expected to include both a spending cap, and a job creation tax credit, in his Executive Budget proposal due out February 1.


Monthly Cash Flow Report – The State Comptroller’s monthly cash flow report showed: 

The complete monthly cash flow report is available here.


H-2B Non-Agricultural Seasonal Worker Final Rule Published - The federal US Department of Labor issued its final rulemaking earlier this week for the seasonal H-2B worker program. As of January 2012, it will require employers to pay H-2B workers whichever is higher – the federal, state or local minimum wage; a wage determined by a collective bargaining agreement; a Davis-Bacon Act or Service Contract Act wage; the arithmetic mean of wages paid to all employees in the occupation in question. In some sectors, this will raise H-2B wages by as much as 50 percent.

The initial rulemaking had been published for comment in 2008 and finalized in late 2009; legal challenges to portions of the rule resulted in a court findings in 2010 that the USDOL had not adhered to certain administrative procedures in the rulemaking process and thus, portions of the rule were disallowed. USDOL is accepting comments through March 21, 2011; comments are limited to specific aspects of the final rulemaking.

USDOL maintains that the change is needed to ensure “U.S. workers are not adversely affected by the employment of H-2B workers.” In fact, a report issued in December by ImmigrationWorks USA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce found no evidence that U.S. workers are in any way disadvantaged by the H-2B program.

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