This Week in Government Affairs
February 2, 2016
- Thanks to all Business Council members who participated in last week’s Government Affairs Council meeting and legislative reception. We had many requests for the GAC presentations, and they are available here. The Business Council’s 2016 Legislators’ Reception was a huge success, with attendance upwards of 640 members, legislators and government and agency staff. Thanks to all of our sponsors and speakers that contributed to the excellent event and meeting.
- Budget hearings
Joint legislative budget hearings continue this week; Ken Pokalsky, vice president of The Business Council, is testifying at the economic development hearing on Tuesday, February 2. The Business Council's testimony and issue-specific bill memos are available here. Click here to view the complete hearing schedule.
- Assembly income tax proposal
Assembly Ways and Means Committee chairman Denny Farrell has just introduced legislation adopting a new, permanent personal income tax structure that would take effect once the current structure expires after the 2017 tax year. The Assembly’s press release states that this proposal would raise $1 billion annual in additional tax revenues (presumably it would preserve the net $1 billion in revenues resulting from the state’s current temporary tax rate structure as well). Current law provides two temporary “middle class” tax brackets, with a rate of 6.45 percent for income between $40,000 and $150,000, and 6.65 percent for incomes between $150,000 and $300,000. At the top end, current law imposes 6.85 percent on incomes between $300,000 and $2 million and 8.82 percent for income over $2 million. This new proposal generally reduces tax rates for incomes under $150,000, providing rate reductions for up to five million taxpayers, according to the Assembly, and increases the state’s earned income tax credit from 30 percent to 35 percent of the federal EITC. For higher incomes, the bill would establish four additional tax rates and brackets, topping out at 9.82 percent for incomes over $10 million. The top rate would be higher than all but three other states. We welcome input from Business Council members on this proposal. Staff contact: Ken Pokalsky or Johnny Evers.
- Consumer Affairs
The New York State Assembly Consumer Affairs and Protection Committee, which met earlier today, included on its agenda two bill opposed by The Business Council: legislation that would require sugar-sweetened beverages to be labeled with a safety warning (S.6435/A.2320-B), which was reported out and is now in the Assembly Codes Committee, and a bill requiring the labeling of genetically modified foods (S.485-B/A.617-B). Staff contact: Ken Pokalsky and Darren Suarez
- Arbitration hearing
The New York State Assembly Committee on Judiciary and Committee on Consumer Affairs & Protection are holding a hearing on mandatory arbitration clauses on Wednesday, February 10, at 10 a.m. at 250 Broadway in New York, New York. The purpose of the hearing, according to the hearing notice, is to “examine ways to better protect New Yorkers from unfair mandatory arbitration clauses, and to explore how the arbitration adjudicatory process can be improved.” The Business Council will be providing testimony at this hearing. Staff contact: Lev Ginsburg
- WIOA plan update
The New York State Department of Labor is soliciting comments on its Combined State Plan, which is required by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2014. The Business Council will be submitting comments, and continues to seek input from members. The comment period will close on February 8.
Under WIOA, each state is required to submit a four-year strategy as either a “unified state plan” that covers core federal grant programs, or in the form of a “combined state plan,” that includes these same elements as well as other key partners. In New York State, the NYSDOL has identified Temporary Assistance for Needy Families as a mandatory partner.
The Business Council's Legislative and Regulatory Agenda
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