Travel and Tourism Committee Update
March 26, 2013

NYS Budget Update

The leaders in the legislature and the Governor have come to an agreement over the budget.  The Senate is expected to start voting on bills this afternoon while the Assembly is not scheduled to be back in session until Thursday. Below are the highlights related to the Tourism Industry. To see The Business Council's overview please click here.

Final agreement: Accepts the Executive's proposal but prohibits the use of any net proceeds from the lottery including proceeds from Video Lottery gaming for payment of non-lottery expenses.

Final agreement: Accepts the Executive's proposal but also requires one percent of VLT fees from Aqueduct that are for purse enhancement at the thoroughbred tracks be paid to the Gaming Commission to promote and ensure equine health and safety; any unused funds during the fiscal year shall be returned on a pro-rata basis for purse enhancement.

Final agreement: The “Taste-NY” program was deleted entirely from the Article VII budget language. An additional $2 million was appropriated for “Market-NY” which is now intended to be a marketing and promotion program of both NYS regional events and NYS produced goods and products. (S.2603-E/A.3003-E).

Final agreement: Increases the state's minimum wage from the current $7.25/hr. to $8.00/hr. on December 31, 2013, $8.75/hr. on December 31, 2014 and $9.00/hr. on December 31, 2015. No automatic indexing of future increases is included. The final agreement removes provisions that would increase the minimum wage for food service workers receiving tips from the current wage of $4.60/hr. to $6.03/hr. and increase the meal and lodging allowance for food service workers.

Final agreement: Removed in its entirety.

Final agreement: Executive proposal accepted.

Final agreement: Amends the expiration for the below provisions by one year: In-home simulcasting; the current percentage of total pools allocated to purses at Westchester county tracks; provisions governing the simulcasting of races conducted at out of state harness tracks; provisions for the simulcasting of out of state thoroughbred races on days the Saratoga thoroughbred track is closed; the current distribution of revenue from out of state simulcasting during the Saratoga meet; the current amount of off track betting wagers on NYRA pools dedicated to purse enhancement; and the current distribution of revenue from on track wagering on NYRA races. (A.3009-C, Part U)

Final agreement: Provides tourism related funding as follows:

Gavin Landry named Executive Director of the Division of Tourism

Before joining Empire State Development, Mr. Landry ran Landry Hospitality Consulting Services, where he provided full service hospitality consulting to numerous hotel developers and owners. Mr. Landry ran commercial hotels for a professional management company in
markets such as Detroit, MI; Columbus, OH; Charlotte, NC and Somerset, NJ. He has also served as president of the Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau. In his new role as Executive Director, Mr. Landry will be oversee the state's iconic I Love NY brand and many new initiatives of the Cuomo Administration including “Market-NY.”

City and State: Above and Beyond Awardees

The Business Council of New York State, Inc. congratulates Taryn Duffy the Director of Public Affairs for Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway. City and State recognized 25 women from various fields for taking leading roles in often male dominated fields. Click here to read more about Taryn Duffy and click here to read more about the other awardees including The Business Council of New York State President and CEO, Heather Briccetti.