The 2010 Pro-Jobs Voter Guide Agenda
Click here to see how your Senate or Assembly member voted on our Pro Jobs Agenda
The Business Council has identified key issues that impact New York State's job climate.
- MTA “Commuter Tax” BCNYS OPPOSE
S.5451 (Dilan) /A.8180 (Silver) — The legislature imposed a new $1.5 billion per year “mobility tax” on employers within the twelve county metropolitan commuter transportation district (MCTD). This is payroll tax on most private and public employees, and self-employed individuals, located within the MCTD, and tax applies to employers within the MCTD that are subject to personal income tax withholding requirements and that have a quarterly payroll above $2,500.
- New/Increased Taxes BCNYS OPPOSE
S57-B /A.157-B (Budget) — The final budget agreement for Fiscal 2010 included $6 billion in new revenue measures, including a projected $4 billion from increased upper-end personal income tax rates and brackets, and a number of new business taxes and fees.
- FY 2011 Revenue Bill BCNYS OPPOSE
S.6610-C/A.9710-D (Budget) — This year's final budget agreement imposed nearly $2 billion per year in revenue measures once fully implemented. Among the most damaging is a deferral of most business tax credits that will increase tax liabilities by $200 million this year, and up to $1.5 billion in each of the next two years.
- Out of Control State Spending BCNYS OPPOSE
S.6604-B (Budget) /A 9704-C (Budget) — The final budget increased overall state spending by $5.4 billion, or 4.2% over last year's adopted figure - a rate of increase double the rate of inflation. Failure to control spending on the state's largest spending category- Medicaid and health care - has resulted in another unsustainable increase in the state budget- and brought hundreds of line item vetoes by Governor Paterson.
- Economy-wide Greenhouse Gas Limits BCNYS OPPOSE
S.4315-A (Thompson) /A.7572-A (Sweeney) — This bill would impose state-specific restrictions on carbon and other greenhouse emissions from any source, including but not limited to manufacturing, power generation, commercial and residential buildings, on and off road vehicles and others.
- Restrictions on Telecomm Mergers BCNYS OPPOSE
S.7263-C (Foley) /A.2208-D (Brodsky) — This bill would seriously undermine the state Public Service Commission's (PSC) authority over telephone company mergers by limiting its ability to evaluate broad factors and impose new mandates and decision-making criteria.
- “Energize NY” BCNYS SUPPORT
S.8065 (Aubertine/Maziarz) — The Council strongly supported this bill that would replace Power for Jobs with the “Energize NY” program. This legislation includes key provisions necessary to support high paying jobs and promote new capital and energy efficiency investments, including a permanent 910 MW per year program, allocation-based power benefits and long-term contracts of up to seven years that will provide competitive, stable electric power prices to energy intensive businesses. Conversely, the Council opposed the Assembly proposal, A.11172 (Cahill), which failed to meet this key criteria for an effective economic development power program.
- Prior Approval of Health Insurance Rates BCNYS OPPOSE
S.8088 (Breslin) / A.11369 (Morelle)— Reinstating “prior approval” fails to address the underlying causes of rising health insurance costs, including increased and/or inappropriate utilitization, state-imposed coverage mandates, rising state taxes on health programs, and the lack of medical malpractice reform.
- Autism Spectrum Disorder Insurance Coverage Mandate BCNYS OPPOSE
S.7000-B (Breslin) /A.10372-A (Morelle) — The Business Council generally opposes new group health coverage mandates as they add to the already high cost of employer-provided health care, and makes it increasingly difficult for employers - especially small employers - to continue to provide this vital benefit to employees. Further, we are concerned that this bill imposes an open-ended insurance coverage mandate on health plans in New York State beyond that which is medically necessary to include behavioral therapies which are educational or habilitative in nature.
- Utility Service Worker Prevailing Wage BCNYS OPPOSE
S.8379-A (Schneiderman) / A.10257-D (Gianaris) — This legislation would broaden the scope of prevailing wage requirements for service employees to apply to broad new categories of employees including service work for private sector utility companies. This would impose prevailing wage mandates on private sector activity without any public works component for the first time, singling out one sector and ultimately increasing already high business and residential utility rates.
- SEQRA Citizen Suits BCNYS OPPOSE
S.1635 (Thompson) /A.9480 (Sweeney) — This legislation creates broad standing for individuals to bring suits in response to alleged violations of the environmental quality review provisions of the Environmental Conservation Law, despite significant enforcement authority already vested in state authorities.
- Streetcutter Prevailing Wage BCNYS OPPOSE
S.7643 (Savino) / A.404-B (John) — This bill would impose public-works-related prevailing wages on private sector projects that require a local street - opening permit.
- “Abusive workplace” BCNYS OPPOSE
S.1823-B (Morahan) /A.5414-B (Englebright) — This bill would establish an unnecessary, broad civil cause of action for employees who claim that they are subject to an abusive work environment. There is already sufficient federal and state law in place to provide redress to an employee who “...is subjected to abusive conduct that is so severe that it causes physical or psychological harm...” and for other detrimental conduct including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, and the New York Human Rights Law.
- “Real Property tax cap” BCNYS SUPPORT
S.67005 (Rules) /A.41005 (Rules) — This bill would establish property tax cap at the lesser of 4% or 120% of the consumer price index on all school districts other than the "Big 5" fiscally dependent city school districts, and a local government property tax levy cap for counties,cities other than New York City, towns, villages, special districts and fire districts.
We will continue to fight to keep these bills from being brought to the floor for a vote. Should they be voted on by either house we will reflect those votes in the guide.
- IDA Prevailing Wage Mandates BCNYS OPPOSE
S.1241 (Thompson) /A.3659 (Hoyt) — This bill imposes union-based, public project-related “prevailing wages” on private sector projects receiving financial assistance from local industrial development agencies, adding 25% or more to the cost of the typical investment project
- Mandated Paid Family Leave BCNYS OPPOSE
S.5791 (Savino) /A.8742 (Silver) — This bill would increase the cost of creating and maintaining jobs by using the state's mandatory disability insurance system to provide up to 12 weeks of disability payments to non-disabled employees.
- Martin Act Expansion BCNYS OPPOSE
S.5768 (Schneiderman) /A.8646 (Brodsky) — Expanding the Martin Act would go beyond all other states and would establish New York as a haven for litigants, thus driving away New York's essential financial services sector.
Increased Taxes Not an Answer
The Business Council believes the state must adopt significant fiscal reform and spending reductions in order to overcome the state's enormous structural deficits.
Rather than impose additional job killing taxes, the state needs to bring state spending under control. These controls should include:
- Adopt the Governor's proposed reductions in school and health spending, and pursue additional programmatic reforms to achieve additional cost savings.
- Implement an cross-the-board hiring freeze on state and local government.
- Require a greater share of health insurance premiums to be paid by current and retired public employees, bringing healthcare contributions in line with those of other private sector employees.
Moreover, to assure a more responsible fiscal path forward, the state needs to pursue fundamental financial reforms, including:
- A state spending cap that keeps spending in line with growth in the state's economy
- A property tax cap that imposes new fiscal discipline on local government, combined with relief from state-imposed mandates and incentives to consolidate services.
Creating jobs and Promoting Economic Growth
This year's legislative decisions will have long term ramifications for the state, as we work toward a state and national economic recovery.
While the state budget is dominating current policy discussions, there are many other issues pending before the state legislature that will shape — or impair — the state's economic recovery.
These include proposals to impose significant new costs on economic development projects and impose costly new mandates on private sector employers. On the other hand, the state is also considering new, more effective approaches to supporting capital investment and job creation, by rethinking the way it provides tax credits, economic development power, and other incentives to help grow and retain high paying jobs.
The Business Council of New York State, Inc., is the primary advocacy group for business in New York State, supported by more than 2,400 Business Council members and their approximately 1 million employees. We serve our members' interests, and promote the economic health of the state of New York, by:
- Representing the business community before the legislative and executive branches of New York State government.
- Providing information on the state's economic needs to the news media, opinion leaders, and a wide segment
of the general public.
- Helping our members understand and deal with state government policies and programs that will have an impact
on their businesses.