The 2012 Business Council Voters' Guide Legislative Agenda

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New York State Assembly 2012

New York State Senate 2012


The Business Council has identified key issues that impact New York State's job climate.

The Business Council Supported

Pension Reform 
S. 6735 (Rules)/A. 9558 (Rules) @ request of the Governor - Approved/Chapter 18
Adopts Tier VI pension reform, including a limited defined contribution plan, with projected state and local savings of $90 million over the next 30 years.

Budget Revenue Bill 
S.6259-D (Budget)/A.9059-D (Budget) - Approved/Chapter 59
The “revenue” bill adopted as part of the final budget for Fiscal 2012-13 included no new, increased, expanded or extended taxes, fees or assessments on business.

State Spending Control 
S.6253-E (Budget)/A.9053-E (Budget) - Approved/Chapter 53
We used the final budget “aid to localities” bill as a proxy for total state spending; it maintained last year’s limitations on the growth of school aid and Medicaid funding, the two largest spending programs in the state budget. Overall, total state funds (state tax and fee-supported) spending was $88.8 billion, an increase of 1.9% over FY 2012 spending levels. All funds spending, including state and federal supported spending, is $132.6 billion, a decrease of about 1% from FY 2012 levels.

Commercial Solar Tax Exemption
S.3203-B (Maziarz) / A.5522-B (Englebright) - Passed both houses
Exempts the sale and installation of commercial solar energy systems equipment from sales and compensating use taxes; grants municipalities the option to grant such exemption from local sales and use taxes. Currently, only residential solar customers are exempt from sales tax.

Wage Theft Prevention Act reform
S.6063-A (De Francisco) / A.8856 (Gabryszak) - Passed Senate only 
Repeals the mandate that all employees receive, and provide a signed acknowledgement of, an additional annual wage notice. The Business Council estimates up to $100 million in statewide business compliance costs for this annual notice mandate.

Tourism Development Fund
S.6663 (Little) / A.9605 (Markey) - Passed both houses
This legislation creates a development fund, using I LOVE NY licensing income and state appropriates, with funds dedicated to promotion and development of tourist travel, vacation, cultural and convention activities within the state.

Wage Withholding Authority
S.7790 (Young)/A.10785 (Rules/Morelle) - Passed both houses
This legislation would authorize additional categories of allowable, voluntary wage withholdings by employers for the benefit of employees.

Preclude PSC regulation of VOIP 
S.5769 (Maziarz)/A.8459 (Brennan) - Passed Senate only
This legislation would this preclude the Public Service Commission (PSC) from regulating the rates, terms and conditions on services delivered over Internet technologies such as VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol).

NY Jobs 
S.7448 (Skelos) - Passed Senate only
This jobs creation incentive package includes about $1 billion in tax cuts and job creation credits, including tax reductions for small business and manufacturers, a job creation credit based on new job-related personal income taxes, repeal of $600 million per year in energy assessments, and other.

The Business Council Opposed

Consultant Contracts 
S.7782 (Robach) / A.10781 (Bronson) - Passed both houses
Requires the state to determine that a consultant contract is less expensive than performing services than with state employees prior to its approval. In part, this bill replicates and expands on existing state contract requirements, and will impose additional costs/uncertainty into the bidding process.

Minimum Wage
S.6413 (Klein) / A.9148 (Wright) - Passed Assembly only
Would increase the minimum wage to $8.50/hour and index future annual increases to the CPI.

Call Centers
S.6918 (Kennedy) / A.9809 (Jeffries) - Passed Assembly only
Would prohibit businesses that move a portion of existing in-state call center jobs to a foreign nation from state provided financial incentives, tax credits and/or procurement contracts for a period of five years, regardless of the business’ remaining in-state employment or investment.

Restrictions on Workers' Comp Pharmaceutical Networks
S.3749-E (Robach) / A.5183-D (Simotas) - Passed Assembly only
In instances where an employer has entered into a contract with a pharmacy network to supply medicines to workers’ comp claimants, this bill would allow an injured employee to utilize any pharmacy that matched the state’s “published prices,” regardless of whether such pharmacy was in the employer’s network.

Economy Wide GHG limits 
S.2742-B (Avella) and A.5346 (Sweeney) - Passed Assembly only
Directs DEC to impose greenhouse gas emission limits on all categories of emission source, to achieve a 50 percent reduction of 1990 baseline emissions by 2035, and an 80 percent reduction by 2050.

Comparative Worth 
S.2200-A (Krueger)/A.6130 (Wright) - Passed Assembly only
Private sector “fair pay” (comparative worth) mandate, requires equal pay for “equivalent” jobs, allows for a private right of action to recover alleged damages.