This Week in Government Affairs
November 3, 2014
Tomorrow is Election Day. We encourage all members to vote, and to support pro-growth candidates. Through our IE fund, Jobs NY, we did a combination of radio and direct mail in support of four candidates: Terrence Murphy for the 40th Senate District, Sue Serino for the 41st Senate District 41, George Amedore for the 46th Senate District and Mark Grisanti for the 60th Senate District. Information on our IE activity, and the candidates we are supporting, is available here. Earlier, The Business Council PAC endorsed two statewide candidates: Andrew Cuomo for Governor and John Cahill for Attorney General, as well as 58 incumbent Senators and Assembly members and seven challengers. Information on all of our PAC endorsements for the 2014 General Election is available here.
Our 2013-14 legislative scorecard, showing how all Senate and Assembly members voted on Business Council priority issues, is available here. Feel free to contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments. We will be sending an election recap and results to all Business Council members on Wednesday.
Cuomo Policy Initiatives - Governor Cuomo recently released his policy platform, “Cuomo 2014: Moving the New New York Forward.” It is available in full here. In addition to highlighting accomplishments of his first term, the document lays out a wide range of policy initiatives for a potential second term. The following are of particular interest to Business Council members:
- Extending the real property tax cap (it is tied to extension of New York City rent control, which expires in June 2015) and adopting a $500 million local government consolidation incentive fund;
- Adopting a $1.5 billion Upstate Revitalization Fund, focused on distressed upstate urban areas;
- Implementing several small business initiatives, including a statewide summit to address small business needs, a “New York Business Assistance Team” to help small business deal with state government, and appointment of a new state Chief Small Business Officer responsible for inter-agency coordination;
- Improving public infrastructure, creating a New York Infrastructure Bank (funding from bank settlements and other one-time revenues), and extending “design build” authority to all state agencies;
- Promoting foreign trade, adopting a $35 million import/export fund, conducting trade missions to Mexico, Canada, Italy, China and Israel;
- Modifying StartUp NY to allow Regional Economic Development Council master plans, considering statutory and regulatory changes to promote “innovative” companies;
- Increasing the Innovation Venture Capital Fund to $50 million;
- Creating a “Center for Advancement of Additive Manufacturing,” and creating a fund to help small/mid-sized enterprise companies participate in large company supply chains;
- Expanding the “Job Linkage program” to promote two- and four-year colleges to develop programs to support sector-specific skill needs;
- Tripling the number of P-Tech Schools, and providing tax credits for small and start-up companies that provide internships;
- Creating a $500 million New York broadband fund, for private/public investments with at least a 1:1 private match, and streamlining the state permitting system for broadband projects;
- Adopting the “women's equality act,” including provisions dealing with pay equity, workplace “reasonable accommodations,” and other labor law/workplace provisions;
- Making additional increases in the minimum wage as “the only way to improve the standard of living for workers and reduce poverty;”
- Expanding the NY youth works tax credit program;
- Creating an “unemployment strike force” to promote employment in 10 high unemployment counties;
- Adopting public campaign financing program and lower limits on allowable contributions to party housekeeping accounts, reducing corporate aggregate limits to $1,000 per year and impose that limit on LLCs;
- Committing $5 billion over a ten year period to support investments in clean energy;
- Reforming and extend the brownfield cleanup program;
- Expanding the Taste NY program;
- Implementing the five year plan set forth in the “state health innovation plan;” and
- Creating a “one stop shop” for business licensing and regulation.
Several of these build on programs or proposals previously supported by The Business Council. This platform also includes proposals of real concern, including strict, one-sided limits on corporate campaign contributions and further increases to the minimum wage. Staff contact: email@example.com
- Socialized Health Proposal Hearings - The New York State Assembly Health Committee will hold six public hearings on Assemblyman Gottfried's single payer healthcare proposal. The New York Health Plan bill—which would be funded by an additional 10 percent levy on payrolls and other surcharges—would essentially make most private health insurance coverage illegal in New York State, prohibiting the issuance of insurance policies that “duplicate” coverage offered to individuals under the New York Health Plan. The Business Council has remained vehemently opposed to this bill and intends to offer testimony in opposition to the plan. We encourage members to both attend the hearings and do the same.
- 2015 Workers' Compensation Board Assessment Announced - The 2015 Workers' Compensation Board assessment rate will be 13.2 percent. This represents a 4 percent decrease from the 2014 rate of 13.8 percent.
- Multiple pathways for students - At its October meeting, the New York State Board of Regents approved “multiple pathways” to graduation for students, including CTE, STEM, Arts, biliteracy; and humanities options. Draft regulations, which are available here, will be taken up for permanent adoption at the Regents January 2015 meeting. Proposed amendments to sections 100.2 and 100.5 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education are slated to be published in the November 5 issue of the State Register.
The regulations allow for a “4+1” option that allow students to take four Regents exams and technical, arts or other assessment of comparable rigor. Students would still be required to complete 22 units of credit requirements. Draft regulations also modify social studies requirements by providing that students entering grade 9 in September 2016 would be required to pass assessments in Global History and Geography II or U.S. History and Government. This modification of the Regents assessment requirement means more focus on what is learned (typically) in grade 10 (1750-present). Students would be required to take 4 credits of course work in social studies: 1 credit of Global History and Geography I, 1 credit of Global History and Geography II, 1 credit of U.S. History and Government, 1/2 credit of participation in government and 1/2 credit of economics.
Please click here for information on The Business Council's regulatory agenda.
Visit The Business Council's Political Action Committee (PAC) page for information on upcoming PAC events.