Transportation Committee Update 8/25/16
- The first update to note is a change in committee staffing. All inquiries on Transportation issues and the Transportation Committee should be directed to Johnny Evers, who has taken responsibility for the committee. He had previously handled transportation issues for The Business Council from 1999-2004. In preparation for the 2017 Legislative session, the Transportation Committee will review its legislative and regulatory program sometime this fall. A date and time will be announced soon. The Transportation Committee is The Business Council's network for keeping member companies informed and involved in transportation-related legislative and regulatory matters affecting businesses all across New York State. It is the conduit through which the staff receives input from members regarding these legislative and regulatory proposals. The legislative program provides The Business Council guidance on major legislative issues important to the membership.
NYS Department of Transportation Lists 5-Year Plan
- On April 1, 2016, Governor Cuomo and Legislative leaders adopted the largest multi-year State Transportation Plan ever approved in New York. The Plan invests more than $55 billion in new transportation improvements, including $27.1 billion for the Department of Transportation and Thruway Authority programs and $28.0 billion for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s program. Specifically, the Department of Transportation’s five-year capital plan includes $21.1 billion in funding to improve highway, bridge, rail, port, airport and downstate suburban and upstate transit infrastructure. In addition, the new State Transportation Plan aligns capital planning and programming for the State’s major transportation agencies for the first time since 2005. The new State Transportation Plan also provides unprecedented support for local governments to maintain and improve roads and bridges. In addition to the $2.4 billion in record level funding provided under the Consolidated Local Streets and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS), the Plan provides an additional $1.0 billion over the five year period in enhanced State assistance to local governments for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of local roads and bridges under the Governor Cuomo’s new BRIDGE NY and PAVE NY initiatives. The following link details the full list of capital projects to be undertaken by the Department of Transportation and local governments to improve infrastructure conditions, increase economic competitiveness and mitigate flooding risks associated with extreme weather events.
- In addition to the DOT 5-year capital funding plan, a program The Business Council advocated for during the session, the Legislature addressed a variety of transportation-related issues during the 2016 session. The Business Council supported, though the Legislature failed to enact, “ride sharing legislation” that would have expanded Uber and other private companies offering taxi and passenger services. The Business Council opposed the Governor’s program bill to expand the regulatory powers of the State Department of Transportation in the area of railroad bridge oversight – something currently overseen by the Federal Railroad Administration. S.8119 (Robach) /A.10714 (Buchwald) passed both Houses in the final days of the session but has yet to be acted upon by the Governor. The Business Council opposed the expansion of binding arbitration in upstate Transit Authorities, S.4746 (Funke) /A.5303 (Abbate),and also supported the exemption of bond issuance charges by the same authorities, S.3328 (Ranzenhofer)/A.8164 (Peoples-Stokes). Both bills were not passed by the Legislature. The Business Council also followed a number of bills relating to trucking, public works contracting, the transfer of the NYS Canal to the NY Power Authority, and the automobile industry, including “hands free” provisions under state law. A full recap and discussion of these issues this fall will help formulate the 2017 legislative program. Memos on most of these issue can be accessed on The Business Council’s Transportation page or the Legislative memo page.