2004 LEGISLATIVE PROGRAM - SMALL BUSINESS
Following is The Business Council's 2004 Legislative Program. It identifies priority issues to be addressed by the Committees and Councils during 2004.
- Support initiatives to make health insurance more affordable by a) allowing employers to purchase a foundation health plan similar to Healthy New York, b) opposing new mandates and creating a cost-benefit commission, c) allowing flexibility and choice in benefit design by encouraging consumer-driven health plans, and d) opposing cost-shifting from the direct pay market to the small group market.
- Strongly oppose "play or pay" proposals that call for steep, punishing new taxes on small businesses that can not afford to purchase health insurance for their workers.
- Support comprehensive legislation reforming New York State's costly civil justice system.
- Support Medicaid reforms in an effort to lower property taxes.
- Oppose an increase in the state's minimum wage above the federal minimum wage.
- Amend the Worker's Compensation Law to reduce costs of permanent partial disability cases by establishing scheduled awards, implement objective medical guidelines for the determination of disability cases, and reduce assessments that support the second injury fund.
- Support a requirement that Chamber of Commerce be allowed to market and administer Healthy New York and sole proprietor health insurance policies.
- Support electronic commerce, but oppose any mandates on all businesses.
- Support the collection of state and local taxes on tobacco and motor fuels sold by Native American tribal stores to non-Native Americans.