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This Week in Government Affairs
August 28, 2013

Senate Tax Hearings

The state Senate Finance and Investigations/Government Operation Committees have scheduled five statewide public hearings on how New York’s tax policies can be changed to reduce the burden on taxpayers and to help businesses create more jobs.  Public hearings are scheduled for the following dates in Albany (September 4), Syracuse (September 5), Buffalo (September 12), Mineola (October 3) and New York City (October 4).  The Business Council of New York State will provide testimony at the hearing in Albany, NY.  The hearings in Syracuse, Buffalo, Mineola and New York City will feature testimony from regional and local business owners and other individuals from the private sector.

Staff Contact: Ken Pokalsky

Senate Majority Coalition Hearings on Regulatory Reforms

The NYS Senate Majority Coalition will hold a series of industry-specific public forums on regulatory reform, identify costly government regulations and hear reform recommendations. The hearings will be held by the Senate Administrative Regulations Review Commission and the Senate Commerce/Economic Development/Small Business committee. The hearing schedule includes:

September 11 Buffalo Medical Technology/Health
September 19 Watertown Agriculture
September 20 Syracuse Manufacturing
September 25 Long Island Construction
September 26 New York City Insurance
September 26 New York City Banking/Financial Services
September 27 Hudson Valley Small Business
October 2 Saratoga Hospitality/Tourism
October 9 Corning Manufacturing
October 15 Rochester Biotechnology

The Business Council will be providing testimony, and we urge Business Council members to provide us with their specific concerns regarding state-imposed regulatory requirements, and your recommendations for reforms. We have created a web-based input form, available here for you to provide us with information on costly, inefficient or unnecessary regulatory requirements that are impacting your business.

Staff contact: Ken Pokalsky

JCOPE Regulations

The Joint Commission on Public Integrity has formally propose regulations regarding the Lobby Act’s restrictions on gifts between clients/lobbyists and public officials. Comments are due September 27, and The Business Council will be submitting comments. Based on prior Business Council input, JCOPE made substantive changes that made the rules more consistent with underlying statute, thereby addressing our most significant concerns. Our initial comments, and a summary of JCOPE changes, are available here. JCOPE has also proposed regulations governing the receipt of honoraria and travel expenses by public officials, and finalized their regulations governing “source of funding” for lobbying purposes. The JCOPE draft and final rules are available here.

Staff contact: Ken Pokalsky

Moreland Commission Announces Public Hearings

The Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption has announced the first round of public hearings which will be held in September. The first will be on September 17, at Pace University in New York City, the second on September 18, at the Walter J. Mahoney State Office Building in Buffalo, and the third will be on September 24, at the Crossings of Colonie in Loudonville; all hearings will start at 6 p.m. The hearings will focus on the electoral process, campaign finance laws, and the adequacy of state laws and regulations related to unethical and illegal conduct by public officials. According to the press release announcing the first three public hearings, members of the public including public officials, public policy experts, advocacy experts and others are invited to testify or attend the hearings; those not able to testify in person can submit testimony to comments@moreland.ny.gov. No other information about signing up to testify is provided. The Commission will issue its preliminary report December 1, 2013.