This Week in Government Affairs
November 3, 2016
- AG to propose non-compete restrictions – Attorney General Schneiderman last week announced that he would be pushing legislation in 2017 to restrict and impose conditions on the use of employment non-compete agreements. The proposal would prohibit the use of non-competes for any employee earning under $900 per week; limit conditions to those necessary to protect employers’ trade secrets or confidential information; and require additional compensation as part of some non-compete agreements. At this point, no draft legislation is available. Case law has already established some basic parameters on the scope and duration of such agreements, as well as issues related to compensation. Staff contact: email@example.com
- Lobby Act regulations – JCOPE has posted two informal rule proposals for public comment, including a proposed “comprehensive lobbying regulation” dealing primarily with client and lobbyist reporting requirements and reportable business relationships, and a proposed rule of source of funding disclosure. The Business Council will be submitting public comments, and welcomes input from members. Please contact Ken Pokalsky, VP, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518-465-7511 (ext. 205) if you would like to discuss the proposal, review our draft comments and/or provide input into our review. Importantly, this proposal addresses legislative and procurement lobbying. Written comments should be submitted on or before November 21, 2016, to Martin Levine, director of lobbying, at email@example.com. JCOPE will also be holding a public hearing on these proposals on December 7, 2016, in New York City, with additional details to be announced.
- Key issues of interest:
- new disclosure provisions specific to “coalitions” and “grass roots lobbying”;
- a new requirement that bi-monthly reports identify specific individuals with whom a lobbyist has engaged in direct communications;
- several new restrictions on statutory exemptions from the definition of “lobbying”;
- new qualifications on the “commission salesperson” exemption including one requiring that at least 50 percent of a person’s annual compensation come from commissions;
- modifies source of funding reporting requirements for entities that lobby on their own behalf;
- continues JCOPE’s current expansive application of “reportable business relationship” reporting;
- a requirement that all lobbying compensation and expenses be accounted for on an accrual basis.
- Vacant and abandoned property regulation - The Department of Financial Services (DFS) has proposed a regulation that will implement provisions of Part Q of Chapter 73 (Laws of 2016) requiring banks and mortgage servicers to secure, protect and maintain vacant and abandoned properties before and during foreclosure proceedings. They will be required to complete an inspection of a delinquent property within 90 days and secure and maintain the property, if vacant. The proposed regulation is subject to a 45-day comment period ending November 28, 2016. The proposed regulation is available for review here.
- Incentive compensation arrangement guidance – The DFS has issued guidance instructing New York’s state chartered banking institutions, managers of New York State licensed branches and agencies of foreign banking organizations that no incentive compensation arrangements may be tied to employee performance indicators. This action has been taken in response to the recent corporate practices uncovered at Wells Fargo. The DFS will conduct supervisory review of such arrangements during the regular risk focused examination process. A copy of the guidance may be found here.
- Proposed Amendments to 6 NYCRR Part 232 (Perchloroethylene Dry Cleaning Facilities) - The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has begun stakeholder meetings to discuss repealing and replacing 6 NYCRR Part 232 (Perchloroethylene Dry Cleaning Facilities) with a revised and retitled Part 232 regulation (Dry Cleaning Facilities) that regulates both perchloroethlyene (perc) and alternative solvent dry cleaning facilities.
Specifically, the DEC is proposing to adopt a future ban on all perc dry cleaning machines and the phase out of third generation machines by December 31, 2021. Provided variances will be granted to relocate compliant, fourth generation perc dry cleaning machines that are less than 10 years old to new, stand-alone locations under the same ownership.
The Business Council will be participating in the upcoming stakeholder meetings and will share information regarding those meetings with interested members. Furthermore, The Business Council will formulate and provide input to the DEC regarding the proposed amendments. Staff contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Environmental audits at retail facilities - The DEC will shortly announce two new programs to work with New York’s pharmacies. The department — with stakeholder input — has developed a special Environmental Audit Incentive program to improve hazardous waste handling For those interested in the background to this program, please see overviews from The Business Council and the DEC.
Richard Walka, senior vice president at D&B Engineers and Architects P.C., will discuss environmental audits at retail facilities at The Business Council’s Annual Environment Conference.
Additionally, the DEC will work with pharmacies to support the collection of unused and unwanted drugs from consumers. Staff contact: email@example.com
- E-Waste - The Department has begun discussions with stakeholders on the development of rules and regulations on standards for reuse, e-waste acceptance credits, waivers of recycling surcharges and acceptable alternative methods for determination of sales data, among other areas in the Act that may require further clarification or guidance. The rule-making process has begun and will be developed to reflect many of the challenges and lessons learned during the earlier implementation of the program.
The Business Council has participated in the stakeholder discussions and will be seeking member input on potential regulations. Staff contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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