This Week in Government Affairs
September 16, 2013

Legislative Update

Senate Tax Reform Hearings

The Business Council highlighted the need for improving New York’s business climate and promoting economic growth at the first in a series of statewide State Senate tax hearings in Albany. Numerous studies show that New York leads the nation in combined state and local tax burdens. Businesses pay approximately 25 percent of all state taxes - and 40 percent of local taxes - for a combined tax burden of 34 percent, according to Public Policy Institute research. The Business Council expressed its support for broad based business tax reforms that would improve the state’s economic climate, as well as the need to update the state’s business tax code, reduce marginal tax rates, and improve administrative processes, among other reforms. The Business Council also discussed the role that tax credits play in promoting capital investment and job creation. Senate hearings are scheduled throughout the state for September and October. The Business Council’s testimony is available here; the full schedule of Senate hearings is here.

Staff contact: Ken Pokalsky

Regulatory Update

Input Needed

In response to requests from the Cuomo administration and the Senate Majority, we continue to ask Business Council members for their biggest regulatory headaches in New York and their suggestions for reform. We are reaching out this week to the Government Affairs committee and its technical committees to invite additional input. We encourage members to use our web-based input form to provide us with information on costly, inefficient, or unnecessary regulatory requirements that are impacting your business. This link allows members to give us their ideas and includes information on our regulatory reform agenda to date.

The timing is right for this outreach, as the State Senate has scheduled a series of industry-specific public forums on regulatory reform, running this week through the middle of October. The full hearing schedule is available here.

The Business Council will be providing testimony, and we urge you to provide us with specific concerns regarding state-imposed regulatory requirements and your recommendations for reform.

Please contact Ken Pokalsky for further information.


The Department of Environmental Conservation has proposed regulations to allow for the siting, construction, and operation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities and the intra-state transportation of LNG in New York state, as required in Article 23, Title 17 of the Environmental Conservation Law. The DEC expects this new regulatory program to facilitate the siting of vehicle fleet fueling facilities and storage facilities for industrial and commercial sites that use LNG as a backup heating fuel. The Business Council has pushed for legislative or regulatory reform to allow for expanded use of LNG in vehicle and facility applications. The proposed regulations, the regulatory impact statement, and related information can be found here. The Department’s study of environmental, regulatory and economic impacts of expanded LNG use is available here.

Written comments on the proposed regulations will be accepted until November 4, at 5:00 p.m..  The Business Council will be circulating a detailed summary of this proposal to interested members, and will be submitting comments to the Department.

For additional information, contact Darren Suarez

Workers’ comp “re-engineering” - As we reported a few weeks ago, the state Workers’ Compensation Board has hired Deloitte to manage a project analyzing New York’s workers’ compensation system,  with the objective of re-engineering the Board’s administrative processes to improve the experience of both injured workers and employers.
The Board has asked Deloitte to hold stakeholder meetings, specifically for business, throughout the state, to gather ideas and comments to guide the project. These open forum sessions will be on the following dates and times:

Rochester 130 Main St. West
Thursday, October 3 3:00-4:00 p.m.
Brooklyn 111 Livingston Street,
22nd Floor, Brooklyn
Monday, October 7 2:00-3:00 p.m.
Schenectady 328 State Street
Wednesday, October 16 10:00-11:00 a.m.
Albany 100 Broadway-Menands
Thursday, October 17 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.


The formal Board meeting notification can be found here.

We encourage our membership to contact both The Board and the Business Council with your intention to participate.

Staff contact: Lev Ginsburg

Archives - Government Affairs Albany Update