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July 9, 1998 

Council seeks members' input on key issues for 1999 legislative agenda
Tax cuts, UI reform, other 1998 wins were made priority issues at members' urging

Fresh from a successful legislative session in which lawmakers addressed many Business Council priorities, The Council is again asking its members for input in developing new priorities for future sessions.

"The Business Council is a member-driven organization, and that means that we pursue a legislative agenda that is based on priorities that are set by our members," said Elliott A. Shaw Jr., director of government affairs for The Business Council.

He noted that the end of one legislative session each summer is the beginning of planning for the next session-and that members interested in suggesting priorities should get in touch with The Council soon.

Members are urged to phone, e-mail, or write The Council outlining their priority issues. Based on these suggestions as well as staff input, The Business Council's board will outline a 1999 legislative agenda at The Council's annual meeting in September.

Details of the 1999 legislative agenda will be worked out throughout the fall. For example, all Council members are invited to the annual Government Affairs Council Issues Conference, which will take place November 17-19 in Saratoga Springs.

Many issues addressed by The Council in recent years arose from members' concerns, Shaw noted.

For example, it was at the suggestion of members that The Business Council became the strongest advocate in Albany for sweeping tax cuts.

That advocacy was instrumental in lawmakers' agreement this year to reduce taxes by $743 million, including nearly half a billion dollars in business tax cuts.

Members also urged The Council to seek workers' comp reform (achieved in 1997) and unemployment insurance reform (achieved this year).