This Week in Government Affairs
January 21, 2014
- Top Story
- Staff News
- Legislative Update
- Regulatory Update
- Political Update
- Federal Update
- Briefly Noted
The Public Policy Institute, the research arm of The Business Council, issued its “Analysis of Economic Impacts of New York Corporate Income Tax Reform,” illustrating the positive economic effect of the business tax reform package recently endorsed by Governor Cuomo. Our press release and summary are available here. The report projects that restructuring the state’s business tax code and lowering its rate would produce significant additional investment, jobs and personal income. These proposals are expected to be included in the Executive Budget proposed this week.
Staff contact: Ken Pokalsky
Elizabeth (Beth) Keary has joined The Business Council as administrative assistant in the conference development department. Beth can be reached at 518.465.7511 ext. 230 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Welcome aboard!
- Governor Andrew Cuomo will today unveil the executive budget proposal for SFY 2014-15. The Business Council will release its analysis of the plan later this week.
- Bill memos - The legislative memo section on The Business Council’s website includes updated information on bills of interest and/or concern to members.
- Updated UI guide - The New York State Department of Labor (DOL) has released new employer guides for unemployment insurance (UI) taxes and hearings pursuant to the 2013 UI reforms. The Business Council was heavily involved in the development of the hearings guide, as well as underlying policy changes and judge training at DOL. We are looking for feedback from members as to their 2014 experiences with UI hearings to ensure that hearings are being administered in a manner that is consistent and fair to both employer and claimant. Staff contact: Lev Ginsburg
- Please visit The Business Council’s Political Action Committee (PAC) page for information on upcoming PAC events.
- On January 10, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and newly-elected Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan held a news conference in Albany to call for an expansion of the 12-week federal family medical leave program. The bill (S.1810) requires paid leave financed with an additional payroll tax of 0.2 percent, imposed on both employers and employees, to be administered by the Social Security Administration. This would provide a leave benefit of 66 percent of an employee’s monthly wage.
Staff contact: Frank Kerbein
Please note the following additional items of interest:
- The New NY Education Reform Commission issued its final action plan last week. Recommendations included: expanding early education, and allowing charters to provide pre-K programs; expanding technology in schools, especially in struggling schools; creating a Teacher Excellence Fund to reward highly effective educators; replicating programs that connect high school to college, like the Pathways in Technology Early College High School; investing in higher education; and focusing on efficiencies and shared services. The Commission was unable to come to a consensus on Common Core, special education, English language learners and minority youth.
- Frigid temperatures from the recent polar vortex drove demand for natural gas and electricity across the country, to the point where the New York Independent System Operator met a new peak winter electric demand. Such weather conditions serve as a reminder that maintaining fuel diversity of electric generation, and advancing high-volume hydraulic fracturing, is critical to our state’s vitality.
- State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli released the list of school districts in fiscal stress for FY 2013. Twelve school districts have been tagged as having “significant stress.”
- The New York State Conference of Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans (NYSCOP) released an infographic highlighting the taxes and fees that drive up the cost of health insurance. According to a press release from NYSCOP, New Yorkers with private health coverage paid approximately $4.8 billion in state health insurance taxes in 2013.