This Week in Government Affairs
March 10, 2014

Legislative Update

Input needed, MTA surcharge

As part of its broad business tax reforms, the Executive Budget also proposes to restructure the Article 9-A MTA surcharge. Adopted as a “temporary” surcharge in 1981, the current surcharge is 17 percent, but based on Article 9-A tax liability as calculated under the state’s tax law as it existed in 1998. Basically, the Executive Budget would base the surcharge on tax liability as calculated under the restructured Article 9-A, including its 6.5 percent ENI tax rate, and would also adopt sales-only apportionment for determining MCTD receipts, apply the surcharge to pre-credit tax liability, and increase the surcharge rate to 24 percent. While the revised surcharge is intended to be “revenue neutral,” we are concerned that it will produce significant shifts in surcharge liability. It would be appreciated if you could review its impact on your business, and let us know ASAP if this is a concern. The MCTD surcharge language is available here.
Staff contact: Ken Pokalsky

Paid Family Leave bill activity

Last week, by an 89-44 vote, the Assembly passed a one-house version of paid family leave (A.1793-B). It would require all private employers in New York to provide up to 12 weeks of continuous and intermittent leave for child bonding and family care and require that employees be returned to the job help prior to the leave. It would also raise the disability benefit formula for all disability and family care claims to 66 and 2/3 percent of the employee’s average weekly wages, up from the historic 50 percent, as well as increase the maximum weekly benefit payable from the current $170/week to almost $700/week in just over three years. The Business Council opposed enactment of this bill. Currently, there is no companion bill in the state Senate.Senator Diane Savino introduced a similar (but not identical) paid family leave bill that would require all New York State private employers with more than 25 employees to provide up to six weeks of continuous and intermittent leave for child bonding and family care (S.6741). This bill would also raise the maximum weekly benefit payable from the current $170/week to almost $700/week in just over three years, require that employees be returned to the job held prior to the leave, and require the state to cover the additional cost of the Family Care disability payments for the first year. Senator Savino also introduced legislation that would increase the maximum disability benefits without the leave entitlements (S.6740).
Staff contact: Frank Kerbein

Activity on Common Core bill

Last week, the Assembly passed legislation requiring that teacher and principal evaluations through the 2014-15 school year be based on local assessments instead of the state tests aligned to the new, more rigorous Common Core standards (A.8929). It would also essentially create checklists of every instance of third-party data sharing — such as transportation, attendance and food services — and give parents and/or guardians the ability to opt out of any combination thereof, creating an impractical burden on school operations and costs. The Business Council opposed this bill. As of March 7, a same-as has not yet been introduced in the Senate.

Out-of-Network mandate

The Business Council has issued comments on the out-of-network mandate proposal offered by the New York State of Health. We reiterate our opposition to mandates on all health insurers to offer coverage for all services performed by out-of-network providers, as they will increase the cost of health-care and premiums for consumers on the Exchange

Bill memos - The legislative memo section on The Business Council’s website includes updated information on bills of interest and/or concern to members.

Regulatory Update

Input needed, MWBE regs

The Business Council will be submitting comments on the MWBE rulemaking due March 17. We are currently seeking member feedback, particularly on changes to the diversity practices of private companies bidding for state contracts.

More information on The Business Council’s Regulatory Agenda.

Political Update

Visit The Business Council’s Political Action Committee (PAC) page for information on upcoming PAC events.

Briefly Noted

Please note the following additional items of interest:

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