Lawmaker grades down across the board, largely attributable to the passage of a substantial minimum wage increase and the nation’s most expansive Paid Family Leave law
The Business Council of New York State, Inc. today issued its legislative scorecard for the combined 2015 and 2016 legislative sessions. The Council has issued post-session assessments covering each state legislative session since 2009. This year’s scorecard and our scorecard archives are here.
“This report illustrates what our members experienced over the past two years, a relatively positive session in 2015, followed by a disappointing 2016,” said Heather C. Briccetti, Esq., president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc. “This year’s legislative action was dominated by a minimum wage increase that will add more than $10 billion in annual employer costs when fully implemented. That, combined with the nation’s most expansive paid leave mandate, and the lack of significant business-oriented reforms such as workers’ comp cost controls, left employers very discouraged.”
For the 2015-16 legislative cycle, the Senate Majority conference received the highest scores on average, albeit lower than in recent years. While the Assembly Majority received positive marks for supporting overall state spending controls, brownfield program reforms, personal income tax cuts and others, their scores were impacted by the passage of bills strongly opposed by The Business Council on issues ranging from impractical carbon emission controls to sweeping new wage mandates.
“We appreciate the impact of this year’s minimum wage legislation was lessened by pushback from the Senate Majority, and that their compromise for a smaller hike for upstate businesses was agreed to by the Administration and the Assembly,” added Briccetti. “But the result was still arguably the most expensive single legislative action ever imposed on New York State employers, and we believe it will have ongoing and systemic negative impacts on our economic.”
The Business Council develops its scorecard based on the Council’s annual legislative program and priorities, and on major legislation addressed during the legislative sessions.
“We will continue to reach out to all state legislators on issues of importance to our members,” said Briccetti. “Prior to this year’s session, state lawmakers made steady progress in improving New York’s economic climate. This effort was accomplished through hard work by both houses, Governor Cuomo and both political parties. When lawmakers return in January we hope they get back to the business of growing New York’s economy.”