For Release — January 17, 2018
Business Council unveils “Blueprint for a Better New York”
The Council’s 2018 Legislative and Regulatory Agenda gives policymakers a path to greater economic growth in the face of a growing state deficit and action from Washington D.C. that is negatively impacting state finances.
ALBANY, N.Y.— The Business Council of New York State, Inc., today released its 2018 Legislative and Regulatory Agenda. Called a “Blueprint for a Better New York,” the agenda urges the Governor and the Legislature to respond to the state’s growing budget deficit and federal actions by examining and reassessing our state’s competitiveness in relation to the rest of the country.
“The Governor’s State of the State and Budget addresses laid out the worrisome state of New York’s finances and highlighted the impact of recent federal actions on the state budget,” said Heather C. Briccetti, Esq., president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc. “At the same time, leaders from both houses and the Governor have already said we can’t tax our way out of the problem. And they are right. What we can do is examine where other states are doing things better, and at a lower cost, than New York. As part of our agenda, we are calling for a thorough accounting of our state’s spending, especially in the areas of Medicaid and education. As we push for increased federal infrastructure funds for New York, it is also incumbent on policymakers to correct the regulatory hurdles, like the Scaffold Law and prevailing wage, which add unnecessary costs to virtually every public construction project in New York.”
The Business Council stands ready to work with the Executive and the Legislature in enacting common-sense reforms that will allow New York to overcome our fiscal challenges and put us on more competitive footing with our fellow states. To that end, The Business Council supports:
- Improving the state’s workforce development efforts to more directly address current employer workforce needs.
- Expanding and updating New York State’s energy infrastructure, expediting state review and approval of new transmission capacity, and providing for the extension of natural gas service. Reducing state-imposed energy assessments on industrial/commercial customers.
- Adopting broad-based labor law reforms, including standards for pay periods and methods of pay, workable standards for defining employees and contractors, workable statewide standards for employee scheduling (with local preemption), limits on Department of Labor wage order authority, restoration of full “experience rating” in Unemployment Insurance tax tables, and others.
- Adopting additional state tax reforms, including small business income tax reductions for pass through entities, Article 9A technical amendments, repeal of the False Claims Act’s extension to tax cases, a refundable Research & Development investment credit, updating corporate and personal income tax codes in response to federal reforms, and others.
- Adopting long-necessary liability reforms, including adoption of a comparative liability standard under Labor Law Section 240 (which can be addressed as part of Executive Law 15-A/MWBE extension).
- Continuing support for education policies and initiatives that promote college and workforce readiness.
- Updating and reforming the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and other project review programs and requirements in order to promote new private sector investments.
- Eliminating sector-specific barriers to growth, such as limits on CPA firm ownership, among others.
The Business Council has also highlighted several areas of concern for the state’s business community, whose passage we will work against. They include:
- Expansion of prevailing wage mandates to private sector projects.
- New revenue measures related to a state budget deficit and/or federal tax changes.
- “Pay-equity” related mandates, and other additional labor law mandates, including those on scheduling, screening, benefits and others.
- Government-sponsored retirement programs that require employer support and/or involvement.
- Unworkable cyber security mandates.
- Extension of the Article 15-A/MWBE program without meaningful reforms.
- Proposals for a state-level single-payer health plan.
- Campaign financing reforms that further restrict private sector political advocacy.
- Workers’ compensation legislation that adds to system costs (e.g., coverage for workplace stress, penalties on employers/carriers who “delay” process, others).
- New private rights of action proposals.
- Mandates to divest common retirement fund holdings in traditional energy companies.
The Business Council’s full 2018 “Blueprint for a Better New York” may be found here. Additionally, we encourage media, government, and the public to follow #TBCBetterNY throughout the 2018 Legislative session as we continue to advance our agenda.