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For Release — November 10, 2011

The Business Council issues 2011 Voters' Guide

ALBANY — The Business Council of New York State, Inc. today released its 2011 Voters' Guide, which measures New York State legislators' commitment to improving the state's economic climate and performance by scoring their support for key business legislation during the 2011 session. All 212 seats will be up for re-election in 2012, and this scorecard provides a mid-term report on legislative actions. The Business Council will be using its combined 2011-2012 rankings in making endorsements in next year's elections.

“With Governor Cuomo's leadership, and a responsive legislature, we saw real fiscal reform, spending restraint, and progress on economic development initiatives,” said Heather Briccetti, acting-president and CEO of The Business Council. “However, there were still several anti-growth bills that came to the floor in 2011. Our Voters' Guide will help give New Yorkers a clearer view of which legislators are truly committed to making our state's economy more competitive.”

Senators and Assembly members were rated for their stance on 11 two-house bills considered by The Business Council to have a significant impact, either positive or negative, on New York's economic climate. The real property tax cap, Medicaid spending reductions and program reforms in the budget, Article X siting legislation, Recharge New York and an improved Excelsior Jobs Program — all the subject of vigorous advocacy efforts by The Business Council — were signed into law this year and included on the scorecard.

Legislators were also held accountable for votes on measures with detrimental economic climate impacts. As an example, negative scores were given for legislation imposing an open-ended insurance coverage mandate for autism spectrum disorders. This bill joins more than 50 other group health coverage mandates, helping make employer-provided cover ever more expensive for business and employees alike, and further eroding private health coverage.

The Business Council also fought against legislation that would establish a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, extend temporary income tax rates, establish a private cause of action for an alleged “abusive work environment” and erode cost savings from workers' comp reforms. Members of the legislature received a negative mark in the Voters' Guide for each of these anti-growth bills that they supported.

“We look forward to working with representatives on both sides of the aisle to help create and retain jobs in the Empire State,” added Briccetti. “Our priorities for 2012 will include implementing real mandate relief, developing the Marcellus Shale and reducing tax and regulatory costs on businesses.”

As was the case in our 2009-10 guide, this year's scorecard shows Senate Republicans as the strongest supporters of The Business Council agenda. It also showed improved scores in general among all legislative caucuses.

Senators with the highest Voters' Guide scores include: James Alesi, Greg Ball, John Bonacic, John DeFrancisco, Hugh Farley, John J. Flanagan, Charles Fuschillo, Patrick Gallivan, Martin Golden, Mark Grisanti, Kemp Hannon, Owen H. Johnson, Andrew Lanza, Bill Larkin, Kenneth LaValle, Thomas W. Libous, Betty Little, Carl Marcellino, Jack Martins, George Maziarz, Roy McDonald, Michael Nozzolio, Thomas O'Mara, Joseph Robach, Stephen Saland, James Seward, Dean Skelos, Catharine Young and Lee Zeldin.

Assembly members with the highest Voters' Guide scores include: Steven F. McLaughlin, Andy Goodell, Brian M. Kolb, Teresa R. Sayward, George Amedore, Ken Blankenbush, Philip Boyle, Nancy Calhoun, John D. Ceretto, James D. Conte, Jane L. Corwin, Janet L. Duprey, Gary D. Finch, Michael J. Fitzpatrick, Joe Giglio, Jim Hayes, Tony Jordan, Nicole Malliotakis, David G. McDonough, Tom McKevitt, Donald R. Miller, Joel M. Miller, Michael Montesano, Philip A. Palmesano, Joseph S. Saladino, Robin Schimminger, James Tedisco, Claudia Tenney and Lou Tobacco.

The full scorecard is available on line at www.bcnys.org/voter-guide/.