This Week in Government Affairs
April 28, 2014
- Post Budget Priorities – The Business Council’s draft list of priority bills for the remainder of the 2014 legislative session is available here. I would appreciate any suggested additions, deletions or edits.
Staff contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Input needed – The Senate Finance Committee is scheduled to take up a bill that would extend provisions in State Finance Law restricting communications between potential vendors and the government during a procurement (S.6967/A.9248). The current law is set to expire on July 31, 2014; this bill would extend it until July 31, 2018. According to a recent Public Policy Institute report, the vendor community feels the government should do a better job communicating with vendors. The Business Council is currently seeking input from members as to how the government could improve communications with potential vendors.
- Senate and Assembly Return – Both houses return to Albany on Monday, and there are full committee agendas in both houses. Among the highlights:
Below are highlights from this week’s committee agendas:
- The Business Council Supports
- S.1671-A (Grisanti) – would create an asbestos remediation tax credit. Senate Investigations Committee
- (with amendments) S.6967 (DeFrancisco) –would extend state procurement contract “restricted period” provisions. Senate Finance Committee
- S.6997 (Savino) – would direct the Workers’ Comp board to adopt existing medical treatment standards where state standards do not exist. Senate Labor Committee
- The Business Council Opposes
- S.177 (Squadron) – would require shareholder approval of corporations’ political contributions. Senate Corporations Committee
- S.5123-A (Tkaczyk) – would prohibit in-state transportation of hydrofracking waste material or byproducts. Senate EnCon Committee
- S.1491 (Krueger) – would adopt “comparative worth” requirements. Senate Labor Committee
- S.6455 (Squadron) – would impose a $15/hour minimum wage on select business sectors. Senate Labor Committee
- A.5472(Silver) – would authorize the Department of Labor to enforce independent contractors’ contracts. Assembly Labor Committee
- Workers’ Compensation – The following bills of interest are on the Senate Labor Committee agenda this week:
- S.2360A(Klein)/A.5299(Pretlow) – would allow the treatment of injured employees by licensed clinical social workers in the workers' compensation system.
- S.3555(Griffo)/A.7293(Zebrowski) – would allow workers’ compensation treatment by physical therapy assistants.
- S.4090 (Savino)/A.6559(Wright) – would allow the continuation of death benefits to a surviving spouse regardless of remarriage.
- S.5376A(Seward)/A.7921A(Cahill) – would mandate workers’ compensation insurance carriers to audit their insured businesses on an annual or biennial basis depending on the industry. We are seeking input from members on this bill.
- S.6997(Savino)/A.9068(Bronson) - would direct the Workers’ Compensation Board’s Medical Advisory Committee to recommend and adopt a nationally recognized medical treatment guideline for treatments of body parts or conditions that do not yet have an associated New York guideline. We are seeking input from members on this bill.
Bill memos - The legislative memo section on The Business Council’s website includes updated information on bills of interest and/or concern to members.
- Amending the Energy Market - The Public Service Commission last week took significant steps toward fundamentally transforming the way electricity is distributed and used in New York. In other states, similarly proposed transformation has been labeled Utility 2.0. New York has labeled this process Reforming Energy Vision (REV). As part of REV, the PSC will examine how existing practices should be modified to enable utilities to actively manage and coordinate distributed energy resources and provide a market enabling customers to optimize their energy priorities, provide system benefits, and be compensated for providing such system benefits. Also, consumers won’t have to sacrifice their comfort as existing practices change, accompanied by reductions in their utility bills. The proceeding will also examine how the state’s regulatory practices could be modified to incentive utility practices that best promote energy efficiency, renewable energy, least-cost energy supply, fuel diversity, system adequacy and reliability, demand elasticity, and customer empowerment. After additional input from membership, The Business Council will seek to become a party to the proceeding (14-M-0101) as the proceeding is intended to have a direct and lasting impact on millions of residential, commercial and industrial customers in New York.
Staff contact: email@example.com
- Health Exchange - The New York State of Health (The State Exchange) has issued the 2015 Invitation for Plan Participation. We are currently reviewing it for details. The invitation details can be found here.
Staff contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please visit the The Business Council’s Regulatory Agenda page for more information
Please note the following additional items of interest:
- On April 25, The Business Council’s Career and Technical Education committee met to discuss the multiple pathways approach to graduation. Terry Hughes, president of the New York State Association of Career and Technical Education, and Doug Leavens, President of the Association of Career and Technical Education Administrators of New York, gave a comprehensive presentation on what a CTE pathway to graduation could look like. Please contact The Business Council to obtain a copy of the presentation.
- Casinos - The $1 million application fee for one of the four upstate casino licenses was due April 23; the Gaming Commission received fees from 22 possible applicants. The fee was required for any potential applicant to attend the mandatory conference on April 30 at the Empire State Plaza in Albany. Formal applications are due by 4 p.m. on June 30.