The Legislature has adjourned for two weeks without agreement with Governor
Pataki on a budget for the 1999-2000 fiscal year.
This is the 15th year in a row in which lawmakers have failed to agree
on a budget by April 1, the beginning of the fiscal year. Lawmakers are
not expected back in session until April 12
Assembly Minority Leader John Faso Wednesday released his conference's
plan to stimulate job creation by cutting taxes and enhancing economic
Tax elements include accelerating scheduled reductions in business tax
rates and in the gross receipts tax on utilities; enacting Governor Pataki's
energy-tax reforms; reducing bank and insurance tax rates along with
corporate taxes; reducing the alternative minimum tax; converting the
ton-mileage tax to a flat fee; and eliminating the petroleum business
tax on commercial heating oil
Governor Pataki assured New York's small business leaders that New York
will eschew a "spending binge . . . that undoes our progress of the last
The Governor praised The Business Council for being instrumental "every
step of the way" in the effort to improve New York's business climate
through new state policies--and strongly urged The Council to stand firm
in opposing excessive state spending that could undo much of the recent
The state Senate's budget resolution includes $1.1 billion in new tax
cuts and a $2.7 billion reserve to guarantee the STAR property-tax relief
program and other already enacted tax cuts.
Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno called the resolution "a prudent
plan [that] reflects a moderate balance of tax cuts, along with targeted
increases in funding and creation of a significant reserve to finance
tax cuts in future years
The Assembly Majority Wednesday unveiled "Main Street," a five-year
strategy for business development and job creation. The program would
cut taxes by $75 million, including $28 million for small businesses
and high-tech firms in 1999-2000.
The program would target state investment at small businesses, emerging
high-tech firms, and university-industry collaborations in R&D and
By DAVID F. SHAFFER
New York State, which is ahead of the curve in the nation's push for education reform, is going to face a very tough test next year when reality sets in and we see what an abstract concept like "higher standards" means in practice.
As new test results that were released this week have now revealed, the reality is likely to be a shock:
Our new standards could well mean that thousands — probably tens of thousands — of next year's high-school seniors in New York State won't get the on-time high-school diplomas they have been expecting
The 1999 Empire State Advantage (ESA) "Celebration of Excellence at
Work" Conference will take place June 1-2 at the Omni Hotel in Albany.
The conference is targeted at managers and executives interested in
quality-driven management systems and continuous improvement.
Conference highlights will include:
A gala luncheon in honor of the 36 Governor's Award winners; ESA
Gold, Silver and Partner organizations; and Excelsior Award winners
A "smart growth" bill introduced in the Legislature presents both concerns
and opportunities for business growth, The Council has told the bill's
The bill, which is sponsored by Senator Mary Lou Rath (R-Williamsville)
and Assemblyman Sam Hoyt (D-Buffalo), would authorize the Governor to
implement statewide "smart growth" policies designed to:
Mitigate the growth of suburban sprawl
A new report form the state Department of Taxation and Finance shows
that 99 percent of all businesses in the state employ fewer than 100
persons and thus are classified as small businesses.
The Small Business Report, based on 1995 tax filings by businesses and
corporations, showed that New York State's 1,050,000 small businesses
account for 50 percent of the state's total employment and nearly half
of all business receipts
Just two weeks after The Business Council launched a new site on the
World-Wide Web for "electronic advocacy" to urge tax cuts, some 4800
letters to key lawmakers and legislative staff have already been generated.
Business Council members and others committed to further tax reductions
are urged to visit the site to join The Council's campaign for more business