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June 7, 2007

Adams meets Governor, legislative leaders to push Council's end-of-session priorities

Business Council President Kenneth Adams held a series of meetings with Governor Spitzer, legislative leaders and key Capitol staffers this week to push the Council's top priorities on energy and other economic development issues, and to express concern about a number of potential last-minute proposals that could hurt the state's competitiveness.

The Council is seeking renewal of low-cost power programs for business, tax reforms to spur growth Upstate, and reform of the Wicks law, among other things. And it is working to block a paid family leave mandate, Internet infrastructure regulation, marketing restrictions for pharmaceuticals, an expanded bottle deposit law and various insurance mandates, among others.

The meetings came as the Legislature works to wrap up the final weeks of the 2007 session. "There is a great deal at stake for business in Albany as the session ends," Adams said. "It's critical that we get our members' point of view into the mix as the decisions are being made."

One top issue on the Council's agenda -- extension of the state's "Power for Jobs" program and its economic development power discounts -- seems to have been resolved, at least for the time being. Governor Spitzer and the leaders agreed in a public negotiating session on Wednesday to extend those programs, which otherwise would expire at the end of June, for one more year. A bill to that effect has passed the Senate and awaits action in the Assembly.

Among the other priorities Adams carried to the Governor and the leaders, the Council is pushing for:

At the same time, Adams expressed his concerns with several proposals the Council opposes, in view of the problems the measures would pose for business generally or for key sectors of the state's economy. These include: