Lawmaker grades up across the board. Republican conferences in both houses outperformed their Democratic counterparts.
ALBANY, N.Y.—The Business Council of New York State, Inc., today issued its legislative scorecard for the combined 2017 and 2018 legislative sessions. The Council has issued post-session assessments covering each two-year state legislative session since 2009. This year’s scorecard and our scorecard archives are available on the website.
“This bi-annual scorecard contains familiar results,” said Heather C. Briccetti, Esq., president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc. “Votes by the Senate and Assembly Republicans clearly demonstrate they are the most pro-growth, pro-jobs conferences. Interestingly, members of the Senate Democratic conference and the former IDC also scored relatively well, with bipartisan support shown for a number of our priority issues.”
“We consider the outcome of this two year legislative cycle to be generally positive,” Briccetti added. “Highlighted by workers’ compensation reform legislation that The Business Council successfully championed in 2017, which is producing significant, recurring savings for employers statewide.”
The Business Council scored 24 Senate floor votes over the two-year legislative cycle. These include several budget bills that addressed major policy issues, including workers’ comp reform in 2017 and an extension of nearly $5 billion in HCRA taxes in 2018, which we opposed. Other positive legislation included measures to decouple from federal tax law changes that would have otherwise led to increased state-level personal and business income taxes, and several regulatory reform measures. Those decoupling bills received broad, bipartisan support and contributed to overall scores that are higher across conferences than in past years.
All 32 members of the Senate Republican conference scored above the Council’s 50 percent threshold, with most surpassing 75 percent. Twenty-seven of the 31 registered Democrats in the state Senate scored above 50 percent.
The Business Council scored 23 Assembly floor votes over the two-year legislative cycle. These included a number of bills opposed by The Business Council as adding significant new costs, mandates or restrictions on business. Of greatest concern was the passage of a government-run health insurance bill whose costs are estimated at approximately $150 billion per year.
Twenty-three of the top 25 scoring legislators were members of the Assembly Republican Conference.
“State lawmakers deserve credit for listening to the voices of business and focusing on major issues including workers’ comp reform and sensible state tax policy,” added Briccetti. “But make no mistake, more needs to be done to improve the economic competitiveness of New York, especially upstate. The Council and its members are increasingly concerned by the anti-business rhetoric coming from all directions. The Business Council’s members are the engine of New York State, whose investments and employment help drive the state’s economy.”
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.