For Release — Sept. 9, 2010
Business Council issues 2010 Voters' Guide and will make select endorsements
ALBANY— The Business Council of New York State, Inc. is releasing its 2010 Voters' Guide covering state legislators' voting records during the 2009-2010 legislative sessions. The guide is available to all New Yorkers on The Business Council's website www.bcnys.org/voter-guide/.
Unfortunately, the guide shows a discouraging lack of recognition among many state legislators of the impact their votes have on the state's economy.
“In the past two years, the Democratic legislative majorities have consistently voted to tax more, spend more, and regulate more,” said Kenneth Adams, president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc. “While we have issue-specific champions in both houses and both parties, the overall legislative record shows a dramatic bias in favor of the pro-spending, pro-regulation advocates.”
The Business Council's Voters' Guide is based on sponsorship and floor votes of 14 two-house bills that were voted on in at least one house. The Senate had floor votes on 11 of the 14 bills; the Assembly had floor votes on all but two. Individual legislators were given a percentage ranking based on the bills on which they cast votes and/or were a primary sponsor.
The Voters' Guide shows a dramatic difference in the two major parties on business issues, with a significant majority of Senate and Assembly Republicans casting votes to reject new economic burdens and to support private sector investment and jobs creation, while only two Democrats sided with the Business Council's pro-jobs agenda in more than half their votes.
The Business Council 2010 Voters' Guide is based on:
- Four budget-related bills, including the revenue bills from both the FY 2010 and FY 2011 state budgets, and the 2009 MTA payroll tax bill, which imposed a combined $10 billion in new taxes and fees on the state's economy;
- Five bills addressing labor or health benefit issues, including new insurance coverage mandates, price regulation of health insurance and bills that imposed significant new costs on private sector construction projects.
- Three “regulatory” bills, that would have imposed economy-wide greenhouse gas limits, severely limited telecommunications mergers and created new “citizen suit” enforcement authority.
- Two distinctly different approaches to creating a new, statewide economic development power program to support energy-intensive businesses and jobs.
- The vote on the bill that would cap real property tax increases at the lesser of 4 percent or 120 percent of the Consumer Price Index. Only the Senate voted on this bill.
“We believe the Voters' Guide includes bills that would significantly impact the state's competitiveness and influence employers' decisions to invest in New York and retain or create jobs here,” added Adams. “In too many cases, the Democratic majorities said yes to imposing new costs and burdens on private sector employers -- obstacles not imposed by most other states.”
The Business Council will use the information collected in the Voters' Guide to inform select endorsements in this year's legislative races. In the past The Business Council has not made endorsements.