This Week in Government Affairs
Staff Contact: Ken Pokalsky
September 15, 2017
- Annual Meeting
- GAC Planning Session
- Workers' Compensation SLU Guidelines
- JCOPE Regulations
- DOL Hearings on Predictive Scheduling
- Carbon Pricing Study
- IT Umbrella Contract
Our 2017 Annual Meeting at The Sagamore Resort, September 24 - 26 is only 10 days away. The theme of this year’s conference is “The Future of New York State Business.” You will hear from top-flight experts in transportation, health care, cyber security and much, much more. You can expect more interactive, lively, and engaging presentations from some of the country’s leading experts in their chosen fields. Our full agenda is available here. Staff contact: Maribeth Riley
Our annual Government Affairs Planning session has been scheduled for Thursday, December 7 at the Renaissance Hotel in Albany. Between now and then, our government affairs staff will be doing outreach to members of our issue-specific committees to solicit ideas for our proactive advocacy agenda for 2018. Areas that we expect to focus on in 2018 include: improving the state’s workforce development efforts; pursuing additional state tax reform, including small business reforms; addressing major state-imposed cost drivers, including liability reform, energy policy reform; and others.
Pursuant to this year’s workers’ compensation reform legislation, the state Workers’ Compensation Board was required to develop updated Impairment Guidelines for Scheduled Loss of Use Awards. The Business Council reviewed and submitted comments on a first draft of these guidelines that was shared with a small group of representatives of business, labor and insurance carriers. On September 1, the Board released draft guidelines (modified since draft #1) and related regulations. The Business Council will be reviewing the guidelines in the coming weeks and will continue to work with the WCB to adopt reasonable standards that reflect medical advances, as intended by the reform legislation. We encourage members to review these documents and provide us with any additional comments, data and information that you believe would be helpful in shaping these guidelines to create a modern cost-saving program. Please contact Lev Ginsburg with any questions or to provide input.
In addition, The Business Council will be testifying at a September 26 Assembly Labor Committee hearing on the SLU guidelines. The hearing notice is available here.
We continue to solicit input from members on JCOPE’s proposed comprehensive lobbying regulations, and its amended source of funding regulations. Importantly, JCOPE has proposed significant restrictions on the Lobbying Act’s exemption for commissioned salespersons, proposing that in order to qualify for this exemption from lobbyist registration and reporting, “commissions paid as portion of sales constitute, or is intended to constitute at least 50% of the person’s total annual compensation.” We welcome input from members on how this restriction will impact your state and local sales force in New York State. Note that the public comment period ends October 16, 2017. Please feel free to contact Ken Pokalsky or 518-694-4460 (new direct dial number) with any questions or comments.
Governor Cuomo has directed the state labor department to hold a series of hearings on employee scheduling in order to solicit input on the drafting of statewide regulations addressing “call in scheduling.” The Business Council is reaching out for input from members on this issue, and will be testifying at the September 28 hearing in Albany. At present, the only statewide standards appear in the DOL minimum wage orders, which require a minimum at four hours of pay at the state minimum wage for employees that report to work at the request of the employer. In May, the New York City Council adopted legislation regulating scheduling practices in the retail and fast food sectors. Staff contact: Frank Kerbein
The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) issued a study on August 11 which outlines options to include the “social cost of carbon” into wholesale power markets, and explores how carbon pricing can align market structures with state policies, for purpose of supporting the state’s carbon reduction and renewable energy goals. The Business Council is concerned about the impact on energy costs, especially for energy intensive business. We are reviewing this report, and developing comments, in conjunction with members of our Energy Committee. Please contact Darren Suarez for more information.
For those that have been following the amendments to the IT Umbrella contract (solicitation number 22802) and participated in submitting questions during the open inquiry periods, we want to thank you for you for your input and active engagement in attempting to make this procurement process better for vendors. With your help, we have submitted comments to the Office of General Services (OGS) on behalf of our IT members, and urged them to engage with the vendor community. Unfortunately, OGS’ response has shown either an inability or unwillingness to modify terms and conditions more aligned with how IT companies operate.
As you may know, the solicitation opening date has once again been pushed back, and is now Tuesday, October 10, 2017 at 11:00 AM. All bid documents can be found online here. The September 5 update (found here) highlights the most recent changes to the bid documents.
While this is an open solicitation, and we cannot communicate with OGS outside of the inquiry periods, we want to let you know that we are still listening to the concerns of our members with the intention to continue to bring these concerns to OGS on behalf of the vendor community. Please contact Amber Mooney or 518-694-4465 with your specific questions and concerns.
Have you checked out our recently re-launched InternShop platform yet?
If your company uses interns at any point during the year, or if you are considering using interns in the future, we urge you to set up a company profile on InternShop.
InternShop is a FREE benefit for Business Council members that connects students seeking internship opportunities to Business Council members across the State. Our custom developed platform allows students to search internship postings from member businesses and businesses to search for interns from over 70 colleges and universities in New York State.
InternShop takes the legwork and guesswork out of searching for qualified college interns, saving hours of staff time for small and mid-sized companies. Larger companies can benefit from using InternShop to either complement or supplement their existing intern and recruitment methods.