This Week in Government Affairs
March 18, 2015
Both houses have submitted their one house budget bills and passed resolutions outlining their responses to the Governor’s Executive Budget proposal. A detailed comparison of the Executive Budget and the Senate and Assembly counter-proposals is available here. Key changes relative to The Business Council’s priorities include:
- the Senate left out the New York City tax conformance proposal in its entirety, citing concerns about its impact on New York-based businesses selling into the city but located elsewhere. The Assembly accepted the conformance language as proposed. Adopting New York City conformance in 2015 remains a priority for us.
- both houses largely rejected the Executive Budget’s approach to brownfield program reform; the Assembly proposes a straight extender of brownfield tax credits; the Senate extends the redevelopment credit and offers different eligibility and program reforms.
- the Senate picked up a Business Council priority in proposing the repeal of the remaining two years of the Section 18-A energy assessment.
- the Senate rejected all of the campaign-related reforms; both houses rejected the Executive Budget’s public campaign financing proposal; the Assembly offers somewhat less onerous restrictions on business campaign contributions.
- the Senate proposes using existing state energy assessments to support the extension of natural gas lines to new customers, an initiative that we support in concept.
- the Senate rejected most of the Executive Budget tax and fee increases, including the health exchange tax, the expansion of Article 9 gross receipts tax, and the various environmental-related fee increases. Most of these were accepted by the Assembly.
- the Senate rejected the proposed minimum wage increase; the Assembly proposed further increases, to $15 in New York City and $12.60 in the remainder of the state.
- both house rejected the Executive Budget’s proposed restrictions on IDAs.
Please feel free to contact our Government Affairs staff with any questions or comments on the state’s ongoing budget negotiations. Staff contact: Ken Pokalsky
- Consumer affairs
Legislation (S.4106 Boyle/A.4530 Dinowitz) on this week’s Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee agenda would prohibit manufacturers and distributors of prescription contact lenses from setting minimum sales prices for retailers. The Business Council has issued a memo in opposition to this bill, which among other things raised broad concerns about state-level restrictions on marketing strategies, products and materials. Staff contact: Ken Pokalsky
The Business Council issued a memo in support of legislation (S.3095 Funke/A. 690 Hevesi) that would create an innovation technology information center, or iCenter, where state agencies could demo products. Click here to view the memo. The bill is currently on the Senate calendar and was advanced to third reading last week.
- Energy taxes
The Business Council last week called on the governor and Legislature to take action and reduce energy taxes that add as much as 67 percent to industrial electric delivery charges in parts of upstate New York. Click here to read the press release.
- Input needed on Appendix B
The Business Council is seeking member input on Appendix B (general specifications) of the state’s standard IT products and services template; specifically, any issues/concerns with the standard clauses (best pricing offer, insurance provisions, etc.).
- Sponsors needed for Statewide Business Plan Competition
The SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) is co-hosting the sixth annual New York Business Plan Competition on April 24, 2015 in Albany, NY. Top teams from accredited colleges and universities throughout New York will compete with regional business plans for $500,000 in prizes. Winners are selected by a panel of judges that include venture capitalists, angel investors, investment bankers and other investors and entrepreneurs. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact Ashley Pillsbury, assistant vice president of entrepreneurship innovation at the SUNY Polytechnic Institute, for more information (APillsbury@sunycnse.com or 518.956.7374).
- Employers needed for Upstate New York SCI TECH Fair
Binghamton University is hosting the 2015 Upstate New York SCI TECH Career Connection Job and Internship Fair, a 13-college consortium event that will feature a keynote speaker, panel presentation and a job and internship fair for STEM careers.