July 3, 2002
Senate suspends operations, but may ask members to return on 48 hours' notice
The Senate suspended its deliberations Tuesday without acting on most of the other union-friendly and union-driven bills that The Council has dubbed "Albany's Attack on Jobs." But the Senate told members to be prepared to return to Albany on 48 hours notice, suggesting that legislative leaders may still be negotiating on some issues.
"We will continue to make the case for spurning any ideas that would increase employers' costs of creating jobs and reverse much of the economic progress that New York has made in recent years, especially upstate," said Business Council President Daniel B. Walsh.
The Senate declined to act on a number of union-backed bills after The Council and its members mounted a strong 11th-hour advocacy campaign against the proposals. The proposals would:
- Dramatically increase workers' compensation benefits with no cost-cutting reforms to offset new employer costs.
- Increase the state's minimum wage, and mandate automatic future increases pegged to average statewide wages.
- Increase tort claims by trial lawyers, and inflate their contingency fees in medical malpractice cases.
- Extend unemployment insurance benefits, adding an estimated $1.45 billion in unfunded costs to the UI system and triggering huge increases in business taxes.
The proposals would impose enormous new costs on employers, threaten the upstate economy, and imperil much of New York's recent economic progress, Business Council President Daniel B. Walsh said in a June 13 letter to Governor Pataki.
The Council also mounted an "electronic-advocacy" from its Web site to enable visitors to directly express their concerns to the Governor and legislative leaders. And it produced a statewide radio-ad campaign to assail the Attack-on Jobs package.