This Week in Government Affairs
May 1, 2015
- “Equity Agenda” Update
The Assembly is moving x components of Governor Cuomo’s 2013 “equity agenda” that have impact on employer/employee relationships. This week, the Assembly passed A.6075 (Titus), which clarifies existing state prohibitions against sex-based discrimination in employment. The Senate version (S.1 sponsored by Senator Savino) had already passed the upper house.This coming week, three additional bills will be considered by Assembly committees, including: A.5360 (Galef), same as S.2 (Valesky), which extends the state Human Rights Law prohibition against sex-based discrimination and harassment to employers of fewer than 4 employees; A.6183 (Russell), similar but not the same as S.4 (Little), which prohibits employment and housing discrimination based on “familial status” (the Senate version is comparable to the Governor’s proposal from 2014); and A.7189 (Dinowitz), same as S.3 (Little), which allows the award of attorney's fees to prevailing parties in cases of housing, employment or credit discrimination. While The Business Council has not actively supported these bills, we are comfortable with their provisions, and believe them to be largely consistent with existing federal statute and case law. Staff contact: Ken Pokalsky
- Nursing staff ratio
The Assembly is moving legislation imposing a hugely expensive and medically unnecessary nursing staff ratio mandate on hospitals and nursing homes throughout the state. This bill,(S.782 Hannon / A.1548 Gottfried), was reported out of the Assembly Codes Committee this week and referred to Ways and Means. Cost estimates are between $2 and $3 billion annually. The Business Council urges members to join our opposition to this bill. The Business Council's memo in opposition is available here. Staff contact: Lev Ginsburg
- Payroll cards
The Business Council supports legislation to establish clear state standards for the use of payroll cards; this bill (S.2590 Gallivan/A.3109 Morelle) was reported out of the Senate Labor Committee this week and is currently on the Senate calendar. Payroll cards are allowed in New York, but the lack of clear standards limits their use. The Business Council’s memo of support is available here. Staff contact: Lev Ginsburg
- iCenter - The Senate unanimously approved legislation last week that would permit the state to operate an information technology innovation center, or iCenter, to pilot technology products (S.3095 Funke/A.690 Hevesi). North Carolina created a similar innovation center that opened its doors in October 2013, and has since saved millions in renegotiated IT contracts and storage costs. The Business Council issued a memo in support of this bill, which is available here. The bill is currently sitting in the Assembly Governmental Operations Committee.
- IT umbrella contract
The Business Council sent a letter out earlier this week to Marc Kleinhenz, OGS designated contact for the IT umbrella contract (#22802), outlining member concerns across all four lots (hardware, software, cloud and implementation services). The letter is available here.
- OSC report
New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli released a report earlier this week on the SFY 2015-16 enacted budget. The report is available here.
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