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2017 "Rest of Session" Legislative Priorities

Kenneth J. Pokalsky
June 16, 2017

We are developing our list of key issues for the remainder of the 2017 legislative session. The following provides an initial list of legislative issues we expect to be addressing.  Please contact myself or GAC staff members with any issues of particular interest, or for information or comments on any of these proposals.

Business Corporations

SUPPORT
S.6506 (Ranzenhofer) / A.8009 (Dinowitz) would modernize the New York Business Corporation Law (NYBCL) to allow New York-incorporated companies to hold virtual shareholder meetings that use means of remote communication such as the Internet or teleconferencing, in addition to traditional in-person annual meetings.
Status – Reported to Senate Rules Committee; Introduced to Assembly Corporations Committee.
Memo in Supportwww.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/S6506-A8009-corporation-shareholder-meetings.html

Construction

OPPOSED
S.2975 (Murphy)/A.5498 (Bronson) would impose public works prevailing wage mandate on private sector projects receiving any amount of state or local financial assistance.
Status – Reported to Senate Finance; reported to Assembly Codes.
Memo in oppositionwww.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/s2975a5498-hours-wages-supplements-in-contracts-for-public-work.html

OPPOSED
S.6576 (Savino)/ A.8071 (Abbate) would impose public works prevailing wage mandate on off-site custom fabrication of woodwork, cases, cabinets or counters and the fabrication of electrical, plumbing, heating, cooling, ventilation or exhaust duct systems, and mechanical insulation.
Status - Introduced to Senate Rules Committee; introduced to Assembly Labor Committee.
Memo in opposition - www.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/s6576-a8071-custom-fabrication-as-public-work.html

Contract Procurement

SUPPORT
S.6452 (DeFrancisco)/A.8156 (Peoples-Stokes) at request of the State Comptroller. This legislation would make several amendments to the state’s contract procurement procedures including: require agencies to enroll with the Office of State Comptroller (OSC) to access the vendor responsibility system, and require agencies to provide vendors with information on how to access and utilize the system; allow agencies to undertake competitive negotiations in cases where two or more offerers are deemed susceptible for being selected; and update the Lobbying Act’s definition of “restricted period” to match State Finance Law amendments adopted in 2016.
Status - Introduced to Senate Finance; introduced to Assembly Government Operations.
Memo in supportwww.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/S6452-a8156-state-comptroller-procurement.html

Economic Development

OPPOSED
S.6613 (Croci)/A.8175 (Schimminger), would impose broad, vague data collection and disclosure mandates on state economic development programs and program recipients. In short, the bill’s vague and inconsistent provisions make the true scope of this new mandate difficult to identify. Our concern is that it would apply not only to discretionary capital programs administered through the UDC (as authorized by the legislative), but to a wide range of tax credits and other programs that already have fixed statutory criteria for eligibility and calculation of benefits.
Status - Introduced to Senate Rules; Reported to Assembly Ways and Means
Memo in oppositionwww.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/a8175-economic-development-benefits-reporting.html

Energy

OPPOSED
S.3923 (Savino) / A.7293 (Dinowitz), would create the Office of the Utility Consumer Advocate. There is currently no shortage of advocates for residential customers. Under current law, the Utility Intervention Unit (UIU) of the Department of State looks after residential and small C&I customers in rate cases. There is also the (state supported) Public Utility Law Project, that, when it participates, only represents low-income residential customers.
Status: Introduced to Senate Energy/Telecommunications Committee; reported to Assembly Rules Committee.
Memo in opposition: www.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/s3923a7293-creates-office-of-utility-consumer-advocate.html

Environment

OPPOSED
S.5287 (Carlucci), A.6279 (Englebright), would amend the New York State Constitution to establish a “self-executing right” that each person shall have a right to clean air and water, and a healthful environment. The Business Council opposes the establishment of a self-executing right because the provision provides an unwarranted threshold level of standing absent accompanying legislation. Furthermore, The Business Council fails to see the benefit in providing a direct right of action under the state constitution to remedy an environmental condition because there are numerous adequate remedies available under current state law.
Status - Introduced to Senate Judiciary Committee; Passed Assembly.
Memo in opposition - www.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/s5287a6279-constitutional-right-to-healthful-environment.html

OPPOSED
S.6617 (Avella)/A.8270 (Englebright), enacts the “New York state climate and community protection act,” requires the department of environmental conservation to establish a statewide greenhouse gas emissions limit as a percentage of 1990 emissions, starting at 85% of 1990 emissions by 2020 and falling to 0% of 1990 emissions by 2050: 0%, authorizes DEC to regulate ALL sources of greenhouse gas emissions.
Status: Introduced to Senate Rules; reported to Assembly Ways & Means.
Memo in oppositionwww.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/s6617-a8270-greenhouse-gas-to-zero.html

OPPOSED
S.1454-A (Avella)/A.8266 (Englebright), would mandate that the Department of Environmental Conservation implement a chemical review process for which they do not have the staff, resources or expertise. Under this legislation, New York would have to undertake an expensive, highly scientific review to make concrete determinations about the toxicity of chemicals and their potential harm to the public. New York does not have the financial resources or expertise to execute such a review.
Status - Introduced to Senate Environmental Conservation Committee; reported to Assembly Codes Committee.
Memo in opposition -www.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/a8266-childrens-products.html

Financial Services

SUPPORT
S.3851 (LaValle)/A.3046 (Moya) - allows public accounting firms to incorporate in New York State with minority ownership by individuals who are not Certified Public Accountants. This practice is currently allowed in forty-seven states. New York’s outdated restrictions place in-state firms at a disadvantage when it comes to recruiting and retaining top talent, such as IT experts, data analysts and others that complement a firm’s accountancy practice. This amendment will put New York firms on a level playing field with neighboring and competing states.
Status - Reported to Senate Calendar, 3rd reading; introduced to Assembly Higher Education.
Memo in support - www.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/s3851a3046-ownership-of-cpa-firms.html

SUPPORT – S.3897-A (Carlucci)/A.3246-A (Brindisi) regulates the conduct of home improvement roofing contractors when making repairs covered by homeowner’s insurance.
Status - Reported to Senate Calendar 3rd reading; Passed Assembly.
Memo in support - www.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/s3897a3246-safeguarding-homeowners-on-roofing-contracts.html

SUPPORT
S.5208-A (Gallivan)/A.6771-A (Morelle) clarify the rules and requirements for using paycards as a method of payment of wages under New York State Labor Law. The use of payroll cards are authorized in New York by Department of Labor interpretations of current law, however there is no express language that provides guidance to employers on how to offer this payment option. This bill removes ambiguity in the current Labor Law and would provide employers with explicit provisions for the use of pay cards, and provide employees important statutory protections.
Status - Introduced to Senate Labor; introduced to Assembly Labor.
Memo in supportwww.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/s5208-a6771-authorizes-payment-of-wages-by-payroll-cards.html

OPPOSED
S.242 (DeFrancisco)/A.921 (Bichotte) would allow a private right of action by policyholders alleging unfair claims settlement practices by insurance companies. This bill substantially and unfairly impacts insurance carriers which will result in increased premiums for all policyholders while ignoring a long-standing and successful administrative remedy.
Status - Introduced to Senate Insurance Committee; introduced to Assembly Insurance Committee.
Memo in opposition - www.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/s242a921-Insurance-Unfair-Claim.html

OPPOSED
S.6484 (Lanza)/A.7445 (Titone) at request of Office of Court Administration, limits the use of arbitration in consumer transactions, undermining the successful arbitration procedures now in place - procedures that benefit consumers and the courts by providing fair and prompt redress of disputes in the vast majority of cases. The proposed legislation would, instead, extend class action lawsuits without improving the outcomes for consumers. See also S.6094 (Savino)/A.2855 (Steck) defining certain terms in standard form contracts as unconscionable.
Status - Introduced to Senate Judiciary Committee; reported to Assembly Calendar 3rd reading.
Memo in oppositionwww.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/S6484-A7445-Limitations-on-use-of-arbitration-in-certain-consumer-transactions.html

OPPOSED
S.4344 (Savino) and A.4982-A (Rodriquez) (Not currently same as) would create a state-administered retirement savings program for private sector employees, and mandate participation by all employers (whether for-profit or non-profit) of 25 or more that have been “in business” for at least two years and that had not offered a “qualified retirement plan” to their employees over the past two years.
Status - Introduced to Senate Civil Service Committee; referred to Assembly Codes Committee.
Memo in oppositionwww.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/s4344a4982-creation-of-state-run-pensions-for-private-sector.html

OPPOSED
S.5644-A (Seward)/A.5445-A (Morelle) Requires automobile insurance policies to provide supplementary uninsured/underinsured motorist (SUM) coverage equal to a policy’s bodily injury liability limits, unless the policyholder selects a lower or opts out of coverage.
Status - Introduced to Senate Insurance Committee; Reported to Assembly Calendar 3rd reading.
Memo in opposition/www.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/s5644-a5445-limitations-on-supplementary-insurance-coverage.html

Health Care

OPPOSED
S.3484 (Golden) / A.4786 (Joyner), which would limit pharmacy mail order options for health insurance prescription plans. This bill will unquestionably result in increased pharmaceutical costs for New York’s consumers and employers, who provide benefits for their employees.
Status – Reported to Senate Insurance Committee; introduced to Assembly Insurance Committee.
Memo in opposition- www.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/s3484a4786-prohibits-requiring-mail-order-prescription-drug-programs.html

OPPOSED
S5717-A (Hannon)/ A387-A (Gunther) would mandate “chain pharmacies” to operate disposal sites for unused controlled substances. We are looking for further amendments as offered by our coalition with retail pharmacies, retail council, food industry alliance et al, which most importantly include preemption on all matters pertaining to drug disposal of controlled substances.
Status - Reported to Senate Calendar 3rd reading; reported to Assembly Calendar 3rd reading.
Memo in opposition- www.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/s5717a387-mandated-disposal-sites-operated-by-pharmacies.html

HR/Labor

SUPPORT
S.905 (Amedore) / A.8012 (Fahy) which ensures that an employer will not be penalized for the dismissal of a temporary employee, hired to fill-in for an employee who is talking paid family leave time.
Status - Passed Senate; introduced to Assembly Labor Committee.
Memo in support http://www.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/s905-unemployment-experience-rating-under-PFL.html

OPPOSED
S.579 (Peralta) /A.628 (Rosenthal) would allow for an “employee lien” as a remedy for failure to pay wages owed to employees in violation of certain provisions of the labor law. Both State and Federal labor law provide opportunities for employees to be compensated by rogue employers who ignore wage and hour requirements. Allowing employees to put liens on personal or company property merely on a claim of wage and hour violations – as done under this bill - will create confusion and redundancy that is not needed.
Status: Introduced to Senate Judiciary Committee; reported to Assembly Calendar 3rd reading.
Memo in opposition: www.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/s579a628-securing-payment-of-wages.htm

OPPOSED
S.2425-A (Carlucci)/A.2343 (Aubry) “Ban the Box” legislation would require employers to make a conditional offer of employment before inquiring about any criminal convictions of a prospective employee.
Status: Introduced to Senate Investigations Committee; passed Assembly.
Memo in opposition: www.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/s5644-a5445-limitations-on-supplementary-insurance-coverage.html

OPPOSED
S.3486-(Peralta)/A.2007 (Fahy) would amend the labor law to put substantial restrictions on the ability of New York employers to maintain a flexible work arrangement for the benefit of the employer and the employee. The bill creates bargaining obligations on employers where there is no union representation - resulting in one-on-one negotiating sessions with individual employees regarding the terms and conditions of employment.
Status: Introduced to Senate Labor Committee; introduced to Assembly Labor Committee.
Memo in opposition: www.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/s3486-a2007-predictive-scheduling.html

OPPOSED
S.3749-A (Parker)/A.1797-A (Kim) would amend the labor law and education law to mandate up to 16 hours of employee unpaid leave for school conferences and classroom activities for employers of fifty or more employees. Formal parent/teacher meetings are historically scheduled after traditional business hours or during evening hours. Most employees work during the day with many working a traditional 7 to 3 shift making it possible to frequent these important school/teacher events.
Status: Introduced to Senate Labor Committee; introduced to Assembly Labor Committee.
Memo in opposition: www.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/s3749-a1797-parental-leave-involvement-act.html

OPPOSED
S.6554 (Young)/A.7864 (Dinowitz) at the request of the Attorney General,
prohibits non-compete agreements and certain restrictive covenants for employees earning less than $75,000 annually. (See also: S.4610 (Savino)/A.1139 (Dinowitz) prohibits employers from requiring low-wage employees to enter into covenants not to compete and requires employers to notify potential employees of any requirement to enter into a covenant not to compete; Reported to Senate Calendar 3rd reading; introduced to Assembly Labor Committee.)
Status: Introduced to Senate Rules Committee; referred to Assembly Rules Committee.
Memo in opposition: www.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/a7864-prohibits-non-compete-agreements.html

OPPOSED
A.5310 (Dinowitz) enacts the "credit privacy in employment act" to prohibit the use of consumer credit reports in hiring and employment determinations.
Status: Reported to Assembly Rules Committee.
Memo in opposition: www.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/a5310-prohibits-employer-use-of-credit-reports.html

OPPOSED
S.2191 (Parker)/A.4836 (Titus) would amend the state labor law and civil service law and require employers to allow access to employee's personnel records, and require employers to copy or provide the equipment to copy personnel records. The Business Council opposes enactment of this legislation.
Status: Introduced to Senate Labor Committee; reported to Assembly Calendar 3rd reading.
Memo in opposition: http://www.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/s2191a4836-requires-access-to-personnel-records.html

OPPOSED
S.5233 (Carlucci)/A.6707 (Galef) prohibits employers from seeking salary history from prospective employees
Status: Introduced to Senate Investigations Committee; introduced to Assembly Government Operations Committee.
Memo in opposition: www.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/s5233-a6707-prohibits-employers-from-seeking-salary-history.html

Lawsuit Reform

SUPPORT
S.2511 (Bonacic)/A.6032 (Simotas) - Creates transparency between asbestos trust claims and asbestos tort actions by requiring the disclosure of all past, pending, and anticipated asbestos trust claims by a plaintiff. Currently, New York does not require plaintiffs in asbestos actions to disclose whether they have previously recovered from trust funds or will in the future.
Status - Introduced to Senate Judiciary Committee; introduced to Assembly Judiciary Committee.
Memo in support www.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/s2511-disclosure-of-asbestos-trust-claims.html

OPPOSED
S.5889 (Bonacic) / A.5918 (Weinstein) --Would provide that a non-New York business or non-profit that secures authorization to conduct business in New York could be sued in New York State courts for an action completely unrelated to its activities in New York (i.e., be subject to the general jurisdiction of the state’s courts.) This bill would add needlessly to the work of an already overburdened state court system - a problem that was discussed extensively in this year’s joint Senate/Assembly hearing on the judiciary budget.
Status - Reported to Senate Calendar 3rd reading; reported to Assembly Calendar 3rd reading.
Memo in oppositionwww.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/s5889a5918ConsentToGeneralJurisdiction.html

OPPOSED
S.4868-A (Bonacic)/A.5919-A (Weinstein) - This would needlessly tamper with common law and statutory laws on hearsay.  By allowing an exception to the rule for statements made by a company’s agent or employee on matters within the scope of the employer-employee relationship opposing party’s statements, we upend the sound legal reasoning in demanding statements being made by a witness under oath, rather than third parties, for whom there is no recourse.
Status – Reported to Senate Calendar 3rd reading; reported to Assembly Calendar 3rd reading.
Memo in opposition- www.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/A5919s4868-opposing-partys-statements.html

Taxation

SUPPORT
S.5892 (Klein) / A.7370 (Galef), establishes an energy-related public utility mass real property pilot program for Westchester County. Under the pilot program, the Department of Tax and Finance (T&F) will uniformly assess utility-owned real property located on privately owned land in Westchester that is used in the transmission and distribution of electricity and gas. This pilot program will benefit utility customers because it will lead to electric and gas utility administrative savings, such as the avoidance of litigation over assessments.
Status - Reported to Senate Rules Committee; reported to Assembly Rules Committee.
Memo in support - www.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/s5892a7370-energy-related-public-utility-mass-real-property-assessment-pilot-program.html

Technology

SUPPORT
S.1121 (Funke) / A.1713 (Hevesi) - would permit the state to operate a state information technology innovation center, or iCenter, to pilot technology products. The constant evolution of technology makes it difficult to stay up to date on products. Allowing state agencies to test out new products before purchasing them will both save the state money and allow vendors the opportunity to showcase their products.
Status: Passed Senate; introduced to Assembly Governmental Operations Committee
Memo in support: /www.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/s.1121-State-Information-Technology-Innovation-Center.html

OPPOSED
S.618-B (Boyle) / A.8192 (Morelle) - mandate that original equipment manufacturers of digital electronic equipment that is sold or leased in New York must make available for purchase that equipment’s diagnostic and repair information, embedded software, tools and other parts to owners of the equipment and to independent repair providers not associated with the manufacturer.
Status: Introduced to Senate Consumer Protection Committee; introduced to Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee.
Memo in opposition: www.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/s618-a8192-mandates-sale-of-digital-electronic-equipment.html

OPPOSED
S.5603-a (Carlucci) / A.7191-a (Wallace) prohibits the disclosure of personally identifiable information by an internet service provider without the express written approval of the consumer. This proposed legislation, as well as others similar to it (S.5516 / A.7495-a and S.5576 / A.7236), are a reaction to Congressional action to overturn FCC rules. Even so, a state-by-state approach proposed in this bill risks creating 50 different systems. Since networks are not defined by state lines, providers would be faced with a patchwork of regulations as well as federal rules. Consumers would be faced by uncertainty between networks, states, and federal rules.
Status: Reported to Senate Rules Committee; reported to Assembly Codes Committee.
Memo in opposition: www.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/s5603a-a7191a-prohibits-disclosure-of-personal-info-by-internet-provider-wo-consent.html

OPPOSED
S.6111 (Gallivan) / A.7543 (Lifton) requires the public service commission (PSC) to establish a plan for all copper [wire] telephone systems. As the PSC is currently undertaking a proceeding regarding the issues raised in this legislation, this legislation would usurp the PSC regulatory process.
Status: Introduced to Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee; introduced to Assembly Corporations Committee.
Memo in opposition: www.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/s6111a7543-service-quality-copper-telephone-systems.html

OPPOSED
S.6114 (Gallivan) / A.7530 (Ryan) would require the public service commission (PSC), within six months of passage of legislation, to identify the areas of the state “in which insufficient telecommunications services has caused social or economic impacts” and once identified, mandate the “construction or installation of broadband and fiber optic services by an internet service provider” in these communities.
Status: Introduced to Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee; introduced to Assembly Corporations Committee.
Memo in opposition: www.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/s6114a7530-broadband-and-fiber-optic-services.html

OPPOSED
S.6282-A (Boyle) / A.7615-A (Rosenthal) would make an employer that relocates call center operations from New York State to a location outside of the United States ineligible for any “tax benefit,” state grant, or other form of “governmental support,” for a five year period, regardless of the business’ ongoing level of in-state employment, wages, capital investment, or other business presence. It would also require any call center operator that is put on the state’s “black list” to repay the value of any economic development benefits it had received.”
Status: Introduced to Senate Energy/Telecommunications Committee; introduced to Assembly Ways and Means Committee.
Memo in opposition: www.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/s6282-a7615-call-center-operations.html

Travel/Tourism

SUPPORT
S.5962 (Murphy) / A.7906 (Schimminger) - Makes permanent certain provisions of the alcoholic beverage control law authorizing allowing manufacturers to transport alcoholic beverages to their retail establishments and other provisions.
Status: Introduced to Senate Investigations Committee; introduced to Assembly Economic Development Committee.
Memo in support: www.bcnys.org/Legmemos/2017-18/s5962-a7906-SLA-sunset-bill.html

Unemployment Insurance

OPPOSED
S.1410 (Avella)/A.6989 (Jaffee) would make employees eligible for unemployment insurance based on their “need . . . to provide child care to the individual’s child if such individual has made reasonable efforts to secure alternative child care.” Generally speaking, employees are ineligible for UI benefits if they voluntarily leave their employment without good cause.  The bill’s broad and vague provisions would allow for UI benefits based, apparently, on the cost, convenience and/or location of child care providers, or other factors, limited only by what a UI division’s administrative law judge would determine qualifies as a “reasonable effort” to secure child care on behalf of the claimant.
Status: Reported to Senate Rules Committee; reported to Assembly Calendar 3rd reading.
Memo in opposition: www.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/s1410-a6989-unemployment-insurance-benefits.html

Workers' Compensation

OPPOSED
S.6495 (Alcantara) would cancel out a portion of recently adopted cost-savings by lowering the standard for awards related to mental injury of any employee, opening up a flood of new claims with little to no merit.
Status: Introduced to Senate Labor Committee; introduced to Assembly Labor Committee.
Memo in opposition - www.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/s6495-a8240-mental-stress-standard.html

OPPOSED
S.5782 (Peralta)/A.15 (Cahill) would render medical treatment guidelines and newly mandated pharmaceutical formulary moot because it basically demands payment for the first scrips, whether they were truly warranted or not.
Status: Reported to Senate Rules Committee; reported to Assembly Calendar 3rd reading.
Memo in opposition: www.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/s5782a15PaymentofBillforPharmaServices.html   

Workforce Development/Education

SUPPORT
S.6087 (Marcellino) / A.8180 (Nolan), which would add early college high schools and the New York State pathways in technology early college high school program (P-TECH) to the state education statutes and provide for their continued support within the state education department. This bill will be amended, with two house agreement.
Status: Passed the Senate; introduced in the Assembly Education Committee
Memo in support: www.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/s6087-continuing-early-college-and-ptech-programs.html

SUPPORT
S.5875 (Robach) / A.6177 (Pichardo), would amend the education law to require the State University of New York (SUNY) and the City University of New York (CUNY) boards of trustees to establish a new common and clear credit articulation policy for granting college credit to high school students who earn passing scores in advanced coursework.
Status: In the Higher Education Committees in both houses
Memo in support: www.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/s5875-a6177-common-articulation-policy-at-suny-and-cuny.html  

SUPPORT
S.5891 (Klein) / A.7697 (Pichardo), would clarify that the newly enacted Enhanced Tuition Assistance (ETA) awards are for students attending all private degree granting institutions of higher education in New York, including fully accredited, degree granting proprietary colleges, on the same basis as other New York grant and scholarship programs, such as TAP.
Status: Reported to Senate Rules Committee; Passed Assembly
Memo in support: http://www.bcnys.org/inside/Legmemos/2017-18/s5891a7697-enhanced-tuition-awards.html