This Week in Government Affairs
January 15, 2015
Governor Cuomo this week announced numerous appointments to the administration, some of which require senate confirmation. They include appointing Bill Mulrow as Secretary to the Governor; Alphonso David as Counsel to the Governor; Kenneth Adams as Commissioner of the Department of Taxation and Finance; current budget director Robert Megna as Executive Director of the Thruway Authority; Mary Beth Abate as new Budget Director; and Howard Zemsky as President and CEO of Empire State Development Corporation and Commissioner of Economic Development. Click below to view the press releases.
- January 11, 2015 - Governor Cuomo Announces Administration Appointments
- January 12, 2015 - Governor Cuomo Announces Administration Appointments
- January 13, 2015 - Governor Cuomo Announces Administration Appointments
- Wage Theft Chapter Amendment, “Equity” Bills pass Senate
A three way agreement has been reached on legislation to make repeal of the “wage theft” annual notice mandate effective immediately has been introduced – see S.1319 (Savino)/A.1267 (Lupardo) – and passed the Senate this week. We expect Assembly action next week. The Senate also passed eight bills based on Governor Cuomo’s proposed woman’s equity agenda, including legislation that includes Business Council-proposed amendments. These include S.1 (Savino) clarifying equal pay language, and S.8 (Hannon) clarifying provisions related to reasonable workplace accommodations for medical conditions related to pregnancy.
Staff contact: Frank Kerbein
- Wage Theft Compliance
Although the wage theft act’s annual wage notice has been repealed, please note that wages notices for new employees and wage notices for employees receiving a reduction in wages is still required. The Department of Labor has issued the following model forms for employer’s use. Employers may use their own forms as well, as long as the same information is provided.
These forms are also available in a variety of languages. For more information on Labor Law compliance obligations, please contact Frank Kerbein
- New Senate rules
The Senate Majority and the Independent Democrat Caucus will maintain a formal working relationship for the 2015 session, but rules adopted by the Senate contain significant differences from 2013-2014. The new rules make leaders of the Republican Conference and the Independent Democratic Conference “Coalition Leaders” instead of “Majority Coalition Leaders”. In addition, Senator Skelos of the Republican Conference would have the traditional title of Temporary President of the Senate, in effect giving the Senate Republican Majority control of the chamber and - in consultation with Senator Klein of the IDC -the sole authority to govern the flow of legislation and distribution of Senate resources. The previous session saw these duties jointly shared by the two Conference Leaders. Senator Klein of the Independent Democratic Conference will have the ability to remove one bill from each active list and request bills to be placed on the active list. Any bill placed on the active list at his request will have a star next to it indicating it was an Independent Democratic Conference Request. Like the previous session, any changes to the Senate rules will require the consent of three-fifths of all elected Senators.
- Multiple pathways regulations adopted
The New York State Board of Regents has adopted regulations (amendments to sections 100.2 and 100.5 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education) allowing for multiple pathways to graduation. The Business Council submitted comments in support of the “4+1” option that allows students to take four Regents exams and a technical, arts or other assessment of comparable rigor. Under this rule, students will still be required to complete 22 units of credit requirements. Click here to view The Business Council’s comments in support.
Please note the following additional items of interest:
- Citizens Bank Supports PPI Efforts
Jim Gaspo, president of Citizens Bank in New York and Business Council board member, has presented the Public Policy Institute of New York State (PPI), with a $50,000 check to support the development of a P-TECH “toolkit” to help businesses engage with local schools and students. The award was made during an event at the newly opened Troy Riverfront P-TECH school. Click here to read the full release.
- New P-TECH Q&A
The Public Policy Institute has published an updated P-TECH Q&A document, to help private sector employers understand and engage with this innovative education format. Click here to view the report.