This Week in Government Affairs
February 10, 2014
The Business Council is submitting testimony today on the Executive Budget’s business tax reform proposals to a joint hearing of the Senate Finance and Assembly Ways and Means Committees. Our testimony focuses on support for Executive Budget provisions related to corporate tax restructuring, tax rate reductions, a new manufacturers’ real property tax credit, and enhanced phase-out of the Section 18-A energy assessments. In doing so, we cite our recent PPI/Ernst & Young study on the positive economic impact of business tax reform. We also submitted an overview of other Executive Budget provisions of interest or concern to Business Council members. Our final summary is available here. Staff contact: Ken Pokalsky
- On February 4, Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee Chair George Maziarz addressed the members of The Business Council Energy Committee. Among other topics, he encouraged members to support efforts to upgrade electric transmission lines. The Business Council is currently seeking input regarding state policy initiatives on transmission upgrades. Staff contact: Darren Suarez
- There have been several recent news articles on legislation that would require shipments of wine and spirits that originate outside of New York to be stored in a warehouse operated by a wholesaler located in-state for 24 hours before being shipped out (S.3849 Klein/A.5125 Heastie). The Administration is awaiting results of an on-going State Liquor Authority economic impact study before formally commenting on this measure. We welcome input from members in the liquor and hospitality industry on this proposal.
- HR managers and directors from several member companies got an early jump on advocacy while in Albany on January 28, making six visits with legislators, legislative and executive staff. Issues discussed included: repeal of the annual notice of the 2010 Wage Theft Prevention Act; paid family and medical leave proposals at both the federal and state levels; the status of Governor Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Act; increased employer costs stemming from last year’s unemployment insurance trust fund reforms and benefit increases; and proposals for an accelerated state minimum wage increase. Follow up district visits are planned. Staff contact: Frank Kerbein
Bill memos - The legislative memo section on The Business Council’s website includes updated information on bills of interest and/or concern to members.
Visit The Business Council’s Political Action Committee (PAC) page for information on upcoming PAC events.
Please note the following additional items of interest:
- On February 7, the Governor announced members of the Common Core Implementation panel, which will be tasked with reviewing the rollout of the standards in New York. Included on the 11-person panel are Stan Litow, vice president of IBM Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs and president of the IBM International Foundation, and Anne Kress, president of Monroe Community College.
- The reauthorized NY Youth Works Tax Credit began on January 1, 2014 and will continue through December 31, 2018. Businesses can earn tax credits of up to $4,000 for eligible youth who begin work between January 1 and December 31 of this year. In order to participate in the program, businesses must be certified. Businesses already certified for the program in 2012 may recertify by updating their contact information and attesting to the Terms of Service Agreement on the application.
- The Governor last week announced three of the five members of the New York State Gaming Facilities Location Board: former New York City Comptroller and Mayoral candidate Bill Thompson; former New York State Budget Director Paul Francis; and Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz. The appointment of these three members constitutes a majority, which means that the license process can move forward: the siting legislation states that within 90 days of a majority of members being appointed, requests for applications must be sent out. The Gaming Commission has yet to announce the winning proposal for an RFP they issued for a consultant to assist the board in evaluating applications.
- The Workers’ Comp Board is halfway through the “reengineering planning” phase of the BPR project. The "as-is" assessment overview is supposed to summarize the analysis of the current state of the system in New York. If you would like to provide input during the three-week comment period, and/or RSVP for two webinars hosted by the board on February 11 and 12 to update stakeholders on the project, email the board at email@example.com.
- Darren Suarez will speak at the 17th Annual AWMA/ NYWEA Joint Seminar on February 12 at the RIT Inn & Conference Center in Rochester. Darren will address New York's current energy situation and its potential energy future.
- Last week, the Empire Center released a study examining cost-drivers in K-12 education. The report found that from 2008-09 to 2012-13, the statewide median teacher salary rose 10 percent. Also noted was the fact that — while 25,350 positions were eliminated since 2008-09 — enrollment dropped by 76,000.