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Labor /Human Resources Committee News - February 10, 2015

Contact: Frank Kerbein

New Senate and Assembly Labor Committee Leaders Appointed

The Senate and Assembly leadership have announced a number of new committee chairman and chairwoman including both the Senate and Assembly Labor Committees, the committees handling our HR, employee and labor related legislative proposals in the New York State Legislature.

Senator Jack Martins, a Republican from the 7th Senate district on Long Island, picks up the chairmanship on the Senate side from Independent Democratic Conference member Senator Diane Savino (Staten Island/Brooklyn). Senator Martins is in his 3rd term in the state Senate and had spent eight years as Mayor of the village of Mineola. He has significant private sector experience in the construction industry and has been a member of the Senate Labor Committee for several years.

Assemblywoman Michele Titus, a Democrat from Queens from the 31st Assembly district, has been a member of the state Assembly since 2002. She succeeds Carl Heastie as chairwoman of the Assembly Labor Committee. Assemblyman Heastie was recently elected by his Assembly colleagues to the leadership post of Speaker of the New York State Assembly. Prior to her election to the Assembly, Assemblywoman Titus was an attorney for the New York City Board of Education.

A group of Business Council member company HR Mangers and Directors will be meeting with these new committee leaders during an afternoon of HR Advocacy in Albany on February 25th.

Paid Family Leave push begins

Business Council staff, Labor & HR Committee chairwoman Karen Biehler, HR Manager at McLane Foodservice and Janet Giannetta, VP of HR at Elant at Goshen met last week in Albany with members of the New York Paid Leave Coalition. This coalition’s purpose is to bring 12 weeks of mandated paid family leave to every employer in New York State. To achieve this, it has hired a full time Executive Director, Campaign Director, and lawyer/lobbyist to promote paid family leave in the New York State Legislature. In addition, a variety of other advocate organizations and unions provide manpower and financial support to its mission.

The Business Council and its Labor & HR Committee members will continue to educate members of the Legislature and their staff about the practical administrative difficulties and unacceptable financial and staffing impacts of these mandated paid leave proposals through meetings with Legislators in Albany and the Legislator’s home districts. Business Council members interested in getting involved should contact Frank Kerbein.

2015-16 Executive Budget Proposed

The Governor unveiled his state budget proposal on January 21st. HR related issues contained in the proposal can be found here.

Join us at the February 25th Legislators' Reception

The Business Council will host its 2015 Legislators’ Reception on Wednesday evening, February 25, 2015, at the Hilton Albany. This event is the premier networking event for our members and the biggest of its kind in Albany. There’s no cost but registration is required so we can prepare name tags for you.

All employees from Business Council member companies are welcome to attend and we have invited New York State government officials, as well as the members and staff of the New York State Legislature. The event will follow meetings of our Board of Directors, Government Affairs Council/President’s Council and CANYS Meetings.

Passing the baton

Over the holidays, I spoke with our President and CEO, Heather Briccetti and our Vice President, Ken Pokalsky about my intention to retire from The Business Council in early April. It’s been an interesting and rewarding 18 years representing New York’s businesses and the Human Resource profession. The recruiting and interview process is underway and we’ll be introducing you to our new team member when the process is complete. Thanks to all of you for your support during my time at The Business Council.