This Week in Government Affairs
May 8, 2012
- Legislative Update
- Regulatory Update
JCOPE Request for Input
- Political Update
- Federal Issues
New Legislation. We are looking for member input on several new legislative proposals, including:
- Prohibit Disclosure of Passwords. We are seeking member input on several new bills that would prohibit employers from requiring their employees or applicants to provide access to personal accounts and services through electronic communication devices. These bills include a limited exemption for “non-personal accounts” that can be used to access an “employer’s internal computer or information systems.” They further prohibit employers from disciplining employees or refusing to hire an applicant based on their refusal to divulge this precluded information.,These bills include S.6831 (Klein)/A.9654 (Dinowitz), which is on the Assembly Labor Committee agenda this week, S.7077 (Grisanti), and S.6938 (Krueger). Council members have raised concerns that these prohibitions are too broad, and would impair employer’s ability to protect themselves against misuse of company equipment and information.
- Remote Shareholder Participation. Senator Ranzenhofer has introduced new legislation, S.7328, affecting businesses incorporated under New York State law, to allows boards of directors to authorize “reasonable measures” to allow shareholders’ remote participation in shareholders' meeting and/or provide reasonable measures to enable shareholders to vote or grant proxies with respect to matters submitted to shareholders at a shareholders' meeting by means of electronic communication. This legislation is an alternative to legislation; see S.447 (Krueger)/A.1710 (Kavanagh), that would mandate publicly traded, New York incorporated businesses to adopt remote shareholder participation programs.
Active Bills. In addition, The Business Council will be working on the following bills this week, which are on a legislative committee agenda. Our bill memos and links to the bill text are available here. We urge members to weigh in with their Senate and Assembly representatives if these bills affect your business:
- We are supporting S.2406 (Marcellino) / A.4319 (Englebright), which provides for the licensing of professional geologists, and is on the Senate Higher Education Committee agenda. Staff contact: Darren.firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We are opposing A.2675 (Colton), which would require every permit application submitted to the Department of Environmental Conservation be accompanied by a detailed “Record of Compliance.” Staff contact: email@example.com.
- We are supporting S.5769 (Maziarz)/A.8459 (Brennan), which would precluded PSC regulation of voice over internet protocol service, which is on the Senate Energy & Telecommunications Committee agenda.
JCOPE Request for Input. The Joint Commission on Public Ethics has issued an invitation for public comment to inform their development of guidelines and regulations on new disclosure requirements for lobbyists and clients of lobbyists pursuant to The Public Integrity Reform Act of 2011. Under the new law, lobbyists and clients are required to disclose “reportable business relationships” with elected officials and state employees. Also under the new law, certain lobbyists and clients will soon be required to disclose specific sources of funding for their lobbying activity.
Public comment will be an important component in developing the guidelines and regulations for the new reporting requirements. After receiving written comments, the Commission will conduct a public hearing on these issues.Final written comments are due on or before May 18, 2012. Comments may be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org and should include the term “new disclosures” in the subject line. Written comments also may be submitted by mail to: The Joint Commission on Public Ethics, 540 Broadway, Albany, New York 12207.
We look forward to your input. Please feel free to contact us to discuss the new Lobby Act requirements and/or provide input into our final comments. Staff contact: email@example.com.
The Business Council PAC’s Annual Day at the Races, at the historic Saratoga Racecourse, will be held Wednesday, August 15. This event is a fundraiser for our PAC, and will help our efforts to support pro-business state legislative candidates this fall. Additional information and a registration link will be available shortly.
Export-Import Bank Reauthorization. Last week, The Business Council joined the U.S.
Chamber and more than 180 state and regional business organizations in supporting Congressional reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank. The Ex-Im Bank, which is set to expire on May 31, helps large and small U.S. businesses participate in international trade. It is a self-sustaining federal agency that assists in financing the export of U.S. goods and services to international markets. For the fiscal year ending on September 30, 2011, Ex-Im Bank supported $40.6 billion worth of U.S. exports at more than 3,600 U.S. companies, helping to create or sustain 290,000 export-related U.S. jobs. The timing was excellent, and an agreement on Ex-Im reauthorization and lending cap was reached late last week between House and Senate leadership, with house action expected today or Wednesday, with Senate action to follow.