This Week in Government Affairs
June 22, 2016
- GAC Planning Session
Please mark your calendars for Thursday, December 1. The Business Council will be holding its annual government affairs planning session from 12 noon to 4 pm (including lunch) at the Renaissance Albany Hotel. This is an important session for finalizing our advocacy agenda for 2017. More details to follow.
Staff contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 2016 Annual Meeting
Join us for our premier event of the year which will take place Wednesday, September 21 – Friday, September 23, at The Sagamore Resort, Bolton Landing, New York. Our Keynote Speaker this year is Pulitzer Prize-Winning and Investigative Reporter Bob Woodward. Click here for more information on registration and sponsorship & exhibit opportunities.
- More upcoming events
Please save the dates for these other upcoming Business Council events in 2016: Made in New York Expo, Wednesday, October 19, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York; and the 2016 Annual Environment Conference, Monday, November 14 – Wednesday, November 16, The Saratoga Hilton, Saratoga, New York.
Visit The Business Council’s website for a complete calendar of upcoming events.
- Superfund Legislation Signed
Governor Cuomo has signed legislation – S .6824-A (Marchione)/A.9568-A (McDonald), Chapter 128, opposed by The Business Council and others, that creates a new three year period for personal injury lawsuits based on designation of a federal or state superfund site. New claims can be filed regardless of whether the site poses a significant environmental or public health threat, and would apply to any substance on-site, not just contaminants on which the listing was based. Moreover, because of latent injury provisions of federal and state law, few if any claims at sites like Hoosick Falls would be time-barred, raising major questions as to the need for a broad reopening of legal liability. This bill will adversely impact both private and publicly owned sites in the future.
Staff contact: email@example.com.
- 2017 loss cost approved
On Friday, the New York State Department of Financial Services approved the New York Compensation Insurance Rating Board’s filing of a 9.3 percent increase in workers’ compensation loss costs, which insurers will use as the foundation of their rate-setting for policies beginning on October 1, 2016. Unfortunately, this number reflects the true costs of New York’s workers’ compensation system and is a necessary correction in order to keep the insurance market stable for employers.
In the coming weeks, The Business Council will outline specific steps necessary to reform the system, making it more fair for employer and employee alike. Some of the necessary reforms include:
- Immediate adoption of updated, evidence-based medical impairment guidelines for Scheduled Loss of Use awards;
- Closing the Permanent Partial Disability durational cap loophole by making the cap run from date of injury;
- Allowing the use of panel providers for the first 120 days of medical treatment for injuries; and
- Reexamining the methods by which attorney fees are determined to ensure that claimants keep more of their awards. WCB judges must be made to adhere to the Board’s own dictate that “the amount of the legal fee will be commensurate with the services rendered, and having due regard for the financial status of the claimant.”
Staff contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Direct Deposit Proposal
The Business Council filed comments opposing a provision in the revised rule for use of paycards that could have invalidated pre-existing employee authorizations for direct deposit of paychecks. This new language on direct deposit was included in the revised rulemaking, issued June 15, 2016, for which the public comment period ended last Friday. We argued that requiring employers obtain new authorizations from literally millions of instate employees would be a costly burden on employers, and will lead to disruption in preferred pay mechanisms for employees. It is our understanding that while the revised rulemaking’s pay card provisions will be adopted, the language on direct deposit will be amended to avoid any impact on pre-rule authorizations.
Staff contacts: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
- New York State Business Incentives Report
Empire State Development Corporation recently issued “The Business Incentive Report” with little fanfare. The brief report provides summaries of a number of state incentive programs, including Cuomo initiatives such as the Buffalo Billion, Start-Up New York, and Excelsior Jobs, as well as several long-standing funding programs such as the economic development fund and the JOBS now program. In addition, for each listed program, it provides a figure for jobs created or retained since 2011, including projected jobs. More detailed ESD reports on some, but not all, of the listed programs are available here. Much of the press coverage has focused on the limited impact to date of “Start-Up New York,” which the report credited for about 1,600 jobs created through the end of 2016, but up to 4,000 over a five-year period. The Business Council previously raised concerns about the limited impact and use of the Excelsior program as well.
Staff contact: email@example.com
Please click here for information on The Business Council’s regulatory agenda.
- NYSSBA report
The New York State School Boards Association this week released a report which concluded that—based on a study of three states that adopted their own math and ELA standards—New York’s new learning standards would be similar to the Common Core standards they replace.
Click here to view the report.