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End of Session Priorities List

Contact: Ken Pokalsky

As we head into the last week of the 2013 session, the following provides our priority “watch list,” of legislation for Business Council members. This reflects legislation of broad interest among and/or significant impact on Business Council members and that remain under active consideration. I appreciate any comments or input you have, including additional legislation of importance to your business. 

Campaign finance reform

There are no new recent proposals and no Administration proposal on public financing. Our major objective is to assure that any legislation provide equal treatment of interest groups, and does not significantly restrict business participation in political advocacy.   

UPDATE:  The Governor has released his proposal, which imposes new disclosure requirements on independent expenditures, adopts lower contribution limits for campaign funds, creates a statewide public campaign financing program, and increases penalties for Election Law violations.

Pay equity

The Governor’s legislation has been circulated but not yet introduced. Key issues for business include: “business necessity” criteria; provisions on wage disclosure; and “treble” damages.

UPDATE:  Amendments are being made to the bill’s pay equity, treble damages, “establishment” definition and pregnancy accommodation provisions that address concerns raised by The Business Council.

Tax Free NY

We have expressed our general support for this proposal, especially for its focus on upstate economy and adverse tax burdens. However we still have not seen a detailed proposal or know under what circumstances an existing business could participate. In addition, we have suggested that TFNY be part of a broader upstate economic development package with broader tax reductions and regulatory relief.

UPDATE:  The Governor’s draft bill has been releases, and our overview of this proposal, are available here. In addition to urging additional, broad-based reform be added to any upstate development package, we will be submitting specific comments and recommendations on the proposed bill.

Casinos

The Governor has releases his casino siting bill, and we have posted the bill text and our summary here. While we have not taken a position on the siting components of this bill, we have opposed its labor components, including treatment of casino construction as a public work and subject to prevailing wages, as well as provisions on project labor agreements.

Scaffold Law

We continue to discuss this with the Administration and legislature; we participated in the mandate relief lobby day where scaffold law was a focus; we continue to push the significant cost-savings for public construction projects as well as private sector cost savings.

Labor agenda

There are a number of bills of concern with Majority sponsorship in the Senate. This list includes:

Wage Theft Prevention Act

We continue to have positive discussions with the Administration and the Senate and Assembly Labor chairs, and push for a repeal of the annual notice/signature requirement.

Workers’ Compensation

Concerns remain regarding;

UPDATE:  S.1754/A.2653 is on third reading in both house, and is expected to pass the Assembly while its outcome in the Senate is unclear. S.5294/A.7961 is on third reading in the Senate and was just introduced in the Assembly; we are actively advocating against the bill’s passage. S.5754 (Nozzolio)/A.7757-A  (Heastie), which would reverse the recent Court of Appeals decision in Auqui, regarding the impact of  Workers Comp Board’ findings of fact in the context of civil suits on the same set of facts.

Post-Sandy Package

We are opposing new insurance mandates and restrictions, including but not limited to;

Payroll cards

We support;

Energy Issues

We are opposing a number of bills that would add to the cost of energy in New York, including;

We support

Health

We oppose:

Technology/Telecommunications

We are supporting;

We oppose

Contract Procurement

We are pushing for two bills;

Hospitality Industry

We support;

Others