- Control State Spending – Supported
The Business Council has been a champion for the control of state spending, one of New York’s major, bipartisan success stories from the past few years. This fiscal constraint borne out of six consecutive budgets with growth rates below or near two percent has allowed the state to adopt both middle class tax cuts and business tax reforms, and increase state support for infrastructure and other critical needs. As a result, New York is in better fiscal shape than many other states.
- Brownfield Extension and Reform – Supported
S.2009/A.3009, Part BB (Budget)
This legislation, approved as part of the FY 2016-17 state Budget, extended for ten years, and updated provisions of the brownfield cleanup program. Reforms included changes to the brownfield site redevelopment tax credit, and a ten-year extension of the state superfund program for cleanup of inactive hazardous waste sites.
- Settlement Funds for Economic Development and Capital Projects – Supported
In 2015, we pushed to assure that financial settlement funds be used for one-time investments in economic development and capital projects, rather than ongoing spending items. The budget adopted a $1.5 billion upstate fund, more than $2 billion for transportation projects statewide, and $500 million for broadband deployment.
- State Procurement Reforms – Supported
S.5713-B (DeFrancisco)/A.7513-C (Peoples-Stokes)
Initially proposed by the state Comptroller, this bill adopted a number of improvements in the state’s procurement process, making the process more transparent and accessible to small business and MWBEs. After passing both houses unanimously in 2015, it was vetoed by Governor Cuomo. A more limited set of reforms was adopted in 2016.
- Transportation Funding/Upstate Parity – Supported
Adoption of a five-year transportation funding plan, and restoring parity between upstate and downstate transportation funding, was a Council priority for 2016, and it was achieved with adoption of the capital spending budget, establishing a $21.1 billion, five-year spending plan.
- Personal Income Tax Reform and Rate Reductions – Supported
S.6409-C/A.9009-C, Part TT
After the Executive Budget proposed PIT reductions targeting small business income, agreement was reached on broader reforms that will reduce income taxes by $4 billion annually once fully implemented by 2025.Â The final budget adopted new PIT tax brackets and rates for income between $26,000 and $300,000 and retained the current “permanent” top rate of 6.85 percent, thereby allowing the so-called “millionaires tax” to sunset.
- State Spending Cap – Supported
While the Governor and Legislature have been passing low-growth budgets, there is no legal mandate to keep spending under control. This legislation would cap state spending growth to a level based on average inflation over the prior three years.
- Permanent RPT Cap – Supported
When the real property tax cap was first adopted in 2011, its effectiveness after 2016 was dependent upon the extension of New York City rent control. This legislation to make the RPT cap permanent, and de-link it from other laws, passed the Senate in both 2015 and 2016 with bipartisan support. To date it has not been considered in the Assembly. In 2015, legislation was adopted extending the RPT cap through 2019, and keeping it linked to New York City rent control.
- Transportation network companies – Supported
Ride sharing and other “collaborative consumption” innovations provide benefits to consumers and the economy as a whole. Unfortunately, ride sharing services in New York are now limited to New York City. This legislation would authorize the issuance of automobile insurance policies to transportation network companies and transportation network company drivers on a group basis, thereby opening the remainder of the state to this segment of the sharing economy. While the Senate passed workable legislation, two-house agreement was not achieved, hung up on liability coverage thresholds.
- CPA firm ownership – Supported
S.4672-A (LaValle)/A.5964-A (Ortiz) - This legislation allows for minority ownership of CPA firms by non-CPAs, an arrangement authorized in forty-seven other states. This bill received unanimous approval in both 2015 and 2016 in the Senate, but has yet to be brought up for a vote in the Assembly.
- Four year legislative terms – Supported
S.894-A (Avella)/A.8577-A (Braunstein)
A common sense reform that would significantly reduce the need for political fundraising, this bill would adopt four-year terms for the state Senate and Assembly, a reform that would eliminate the current state of “constant campaigning.” With Democrat sponsorship, it passed the Republican-controlled Senate in both 2015 and 2016 with broad, bipartisan support.
- Cost/Benefit Analysis of REV – Supported
S.5131 (DeFrancisco)/A.7808 (Russell)
This legislation, which passed the Senate, directs the Public Service Commission to perform a cost benefit analysis of the Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative. The analysis would help to better identify the REV’s potential benefits and costs, including: impact on electric rates charged to consumers through additional taxes and fees, increased rates, or any other charges required to fund the REV initiative; the feasibility of other potential initiatives and approaches to upgrading and updating the current energy infrastructure of this state; and others. Estimates show that REV related orders could cost ratepayers more than $13 billion.
- Industrial and Commercial Energy Project Funding – Supported
S.7840 (Griffo) /A.10716 (Woerner)
The Business Council supported legislation to establish a self-directed or “banking” approach for large electric customers encompassing all applicable state-imposed Clean Energy charges. This change would give business customers a reasonable opportunity to utilize current energy assessment to implement on-site projects that support the state’s energy goals
- Regulates "Lawsuit Lending" – Supported
S.8006 (Ortt)/A.9241-C (Simanowitz)
This legislation, approved unanimously in the Senate, would begin to control the heretofore unregulated lawsuit lending industry in New York State. The industry provides money to plaintiffs to utilize during litigation, but with no current limits on interest rates, fees, or charges. It also addresses potential conflicts of interests for plaintiffs’ lawyers by prohibiting attorneys from receiving referral fees from a lending company in connection with a plaintiff’s funding.
- Alcoholic Beverage Control Law Reforms – Supported
S.8140 (Lanza)/A.10728 (Schimminger)
This approved legislation reforms a number of provisions of the ABC Law, reducing compliance burdens and updating state law to reflect emerging production and marketing trends. Of particular importance to New York’s expanding wine, brewing, and distilled spirits industry, is the so-called “brunch bill” which ends the ban on Sunday morning alcohol sales.
- Paid Family Leave – Opposed
New York adopted the most expansive paid family leave policy of any state, with up to 12 weeks of leave per fifty-two week period, with up to two-thirds wage replacement. Unlike federal FMLA, this will apply to all employers, regardless of size. Intended to be funded exclusively through wage withholding, we expect its costs will ultimately be shifted to employers.
- Minimum Wage – Opposed
With statewide costs to employers of more than $10 billion per year when fully implemented, the state again increased the minimum wage going to $15 by 2019 in NYC (small employers in NYC get a one year delay) and by 2021 in Long Island and Westchester County; and to $12.50 in upstate New York by 2021.
- "Superfund" Site Statute of Limitations – Opposed
S.6824-A (Marchione)/A.9568-A (McDonald)
This bill reopens a three-year window for lawsuits when a site is newly listed as a federal or state superfund site. While unnecessary to preserve legal rights in circumstances such as those found in Hoosick Falls and other locations, this bill will result in additional litigation for both private and public property owners.
- Railroad Inspection Mandate – Opposed
S.8119 (Robach)/A.10714 (Rules/Buchwald)
This bill was introduced and passed in five days at the end of session. It will impose unnecessary compliance costs on railroads — and their customers — and in some respects, bring New York law into conflict with federal rail regulations.
- Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050 – Opposed
S.8005 (Savino)/A.10342 (Englebright)
New York is already one of the nation’s most energy and carbon efficient states, yet this bill would mandate that the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) impose new regulations on wide sectors of the economy to meet a goal of eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from all emission sources in the state by 2050.In addition to its impracticality and costs, it would have limited actual impact on global emissions due to “leakage” and the inevitable shift of power generation and other economic activity to alternative jurisdictions.
- Single Payor Health Plan – Opposed
S.3525-A (Perkins)/A.5062-A (Gottfried)
Passed by the Assembly in both 2015 and 2016, this bill would result in more than $100 billion in new annual state spending. By the sponsor’s own analysis, this would require a tax of at least nine percent on income between $25,000 and $50,000, graduating to a 16 percent tax for incomes over $200,000.It would also effectively make most private group health insurance coverage illegal in New York State.
- State Level "TSCA" – Opposed
S.7507 (Avella)/A.5612-A (Englebright)
Dubbed the “toxic toys” bill, it would mandate the DEC to implement a chemical review process for which they do not have the staff, resources, or expertise, purportedly to eliminate trace levels of certain chemicals in products intended for use by children. Congress has recently approved legislation to improve the national program for assessing the safety of chemicals in Congress, and we believe this is the far better solution.
- Comparative Worth – Opposed
S.2707-A (Krueger)/A.6937 (Titus)
Often erroneously referred to as an “equal pay” bill, this legislation would authorize the state Labor Department to issue rules for determining which jobs were “equivalent” in skill demands, and therefore requiring equal pay, regardless of actual market conditions related to such occupations. Employers violating this “comparative” wage mandate would be subject to departmental enforcement and compensatory and punitive damages. No state in the U.S. has adopted this type of wage standard.
- Utility Consumer Advocate – Opposed
S.3356-A (Savino)/A.180-A (Dinowitz)
The bill, which is intended to oppose utility rate increases, would create a duplicative governmental office, funded through additional utility assessments.
- Consent to Jurisdiction – Opposed
S.4846 (Bonacic)/A.6714 (Weinstein)
Introduced in response to the United State Supreme Court’s decision in Daimler AG v. Bauman, this bill would subject non-New York businesses receiving authorization to conduct business in New York to potential litigation inner York State courts for an action completely unrelated to in-state activities. It would needlessly add to the workload of the state’s overburdened state court system, and set a damaging precedent that could adversely impact New York businesses operating in other states.
- LLC Campaign Contribution Limits – Opposed
S.60-B (Squadron)/A.6975-C (Kavanagh)
This legislation would further limit the business community’s ability to participate in political advocacy; corporations and employee PACs are already subject to fundraising and spending restrictions not imposed on other entities, resulting in a uneven playing field among interest groups.
- Nurse Staffing Mandate – Opposed
S.782 (Hannon)/A.8580-A (Gunther) We joined a wide range of health care providers in opposing legislation that would have imposed medically unnecessary nursing staff ratio on hospitals and nursing homes, with an estimated increased cost to the health care system of between $2 and $3 billion annually.