This Week in Government Affairs
September 15, 2016
- Upcoming GAC Meetings
The GAC will meet on Monday, January 23, 2017, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., in conjunction with our Annual Legislators’ Reception.
All Business Council members are encouraged to participate in the GAC, and help us develop and push our advocacy agenda for 2017. Staff contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Legislative Primaries -- Here is a summary of key significant races.
- Chris Jacobs won the Republic primary in SD 60, the seat being vacated by Senator Panepinto.
- Pam Helming won a five way Republican primary to replace Senator Nozzolio in SD 54.
- Assemblyman Jim Tedisco won the Republican primary to replace Senator Farley in SD 49
- Marisol Alcantara, with backing from the Senate Independent Democratic Conference, won a three way Democratic primary to replace Adriano Espaillat in SD 31.
- All incumbent Senate members facing a primary challenge won their primary.
- Three Assembly Democrats lost their primaries: Assembly member Margaret Markey lost to Brian Barnwell in AD 30; incumbent Guillermo Linares lost to Carmen De La Rosa in AD 72; and incumbent Alice Cancel who won a special election in Sheldon Silver’s former AD 65, lost to Yuh-Line Niou.
- For open seats, Jamaal Bailey won the Democratic primary to fill SD 36 vacated by Senator Hassell-Thompson; Robert Carroll won the Democratic primary to replace Assemblyman Brennan in AD 44; Tremaine Wright won the Democratic primary to replace Assemblywoman Annette Robinson in AD 56; Mary Beth Walsh won the Republican primary for AD 112 to replace Jim Tedisco; Anthony Eramo won the Democratic primary to fill the seat vacated by now Senator Kaminsky in AD 20; and Brian Miller won the Republican primary to succeed Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney in AD 101.
- Bill defining “intangible assets” signed into law
Governor Cuomo has signed legislation to provide a period of probable usefulness of five years for intangible assets that are classified as capital assets under generally accepted accounting principles and determined to have a useful life of at least five years by an appropriate engineering (or other) profession (Ch. 309, 2016). The Business Council supported this bill.
- Governor signs bill modernizing ABCL
Governor Cuomo last week signed into law legislation — S.8140 (Lanza) / A.10728 (Schimminger) – to greatly overhaul and revamp provisions governing the sale and licensing of alcohol in New York. The Business Council supported the bill and lobbied for its passage. Staff contact: email@example.com
The bill contains a number of provisions reducing compliance burdens and updating state law to reflect emerging production and marketing trends. Of particular importance to New York’s expanding wine, brewing, and distilled spirits industry is the so-called “brunch bill,” provisions of which end the ban on Sunday morning sales. This legislation would enable on-premises licensees throughout the state to begin serving alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises on Sundays at 10:00 a.m., rather than noon. Licensees outside of New York City may also apply for a permit to allow the licensee to serve alcoholic beverages starting at 8 a.m. on Sundays provided they notify the local municipality, with each licensee limited to 12 of these permits each calendar year. Staff contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Workers’ comp committee meeting
The Workers' Compensation Board will be releasing a "discussion document" on the establishment of a pharmaceutical formulary for workers' compensation in New York. Concurrent with this release, we have asked MaryBeth Woods, executive director of the board, to join us on Wednesday, September 28, from 11 a.m. to noon at 12 Corporate Woods Blvd. (4th floor conference room) in Albany to discuss the document and take input from Business Council members.
- Final rules released on method of payment of wages
On September 7, the New York State Department of Labor issued final regulations governing the use of payroll debit cards. Importantly, the rule also impacts the ongoing use of paychecks and direct deposit – provisions that will apply to all employers in New York State effective March 7, 2017.
For use of paychecks, the rule requires that checks be a “negotiable instrument” (pay checks drawn on a bank should already meet this standard) and prohibits the employer from imposing any fees on employees in connection with the use of paychecks, including for the issuance of a replacement for a lost or stolen check.
For use of direct deposit, Labor Law Section 192 already requires advance written consent of employees and deposit in a financial institution of the employee’s choosing. In addition, under the new rule, employers using either direct deposit or payroll debit cards must, by March 7, 2017, provide all employers with updated written notice of their rights under the Labor Law regarding pay options.
Importantly, for employers with employees already using direct deposit, the Labor Department has indicated that employee consents provided prior to the effective date of this rule will remain in effect if the employer provides all employees with the notice described above prior to March 7, 2017. The Department has committed to issuing templates for use by employers containing all the information necessary for compliance with this notice requirement.
The new rules for use of payroll debit cards are far more detailed. Most significant, there can be no fees for any services related to the pay cards, and employers must provide employees with convenient free access to their full wages. Additional details are available here.
If you have any questions or require additional information, please contact email@example.com or call our HR line at 800.332.2117.