THE LONG ISLAND ASSOCIATION'S PRIORITIES AND INITIATIVES FOR 2015
The Long Island Association's Priorities and Initiatives for 2015 include the critical issues, policies and projects we will advocate for on behalf of the Long Island business community this year. We are committed to achieving these objectives in order to create jobs, spur private investment, promote economic development, rebuild from Superstorm Sandy, reduce the property tax burden and improve the overall business climate in our region. The LIA will continue to collaborate with other organizations on Long Island and throughout the state to build support for these initiatives. In addition, Long Island's demographics clearly show we are getting older and losing our younger generation. In fact, our changing demographics may be the single greatest challenge facing Long Island today. The LIA is becoming the "agent of change" to help mobilize our region to get Long Island growing again. And, while our region adapts to population changes, we need to ensure we do not jettison our educational, public safety and environmental amenities that make Long Island an attractive place to live and work.
Top 15 Priorities in 2015
1. Advocate for the "Long Island Billion"; an investment by the state in our physical, intellectual and natural infrastructure utilizing funds from the current state surplus that could leverage billions of dollars in additional private investments, while creating thousands of construction and permanent jobs and advancing transformational projects.
2. Support extending the real property tax cap, which expires in June 2015.
3. Advocate for a more equitable share of federal and state government funding as our updated Balance of Payments Report shows Long Islanders give $28 billion more to Albany and Washington, D.C. in tax revenues then we receive in state and federal aid and benefits in return.
4. Work with the Long Island Builders Institute, Long Island Regional Planning Council and the Association for a Better Long Island to advance efforts to expand sewer capacity throughout Long Island and allow for mixed-use and transit-oriented development projects, especially those that will increase the supply of rental housing on Long Island.
5. Support investments in the Long Island Rail Road, including funding for the MTA's 2015-2019 Capital Program, as efforts to make it easier to get to and from New York City strengthen our region. Work with the Long Island Index to help build community support for critical initiatives such as completing the Double Track to Ronkonkoma and the East Side Access project, while moving forward with the planning process for the 3rd Track while ensuring adequate space at Penn Station for the LIRR. Also, support the reopening of the Republic Airport rail station and pursue the electrification of the LIRR to Port Jefferson.
6. Continue to assist our academic institutions with participating in Start-Up NY and other state and local economic development efforts to spur the growth of high-tech and bio-tech startup companies on Long Island.
7. Support a new, comprehensive energy master plan for Long Island to guide energypolicy decision making in the region while promoting diverse energy supplies andprojects, including the expansion of natural gas by importing more and distributing it viaexisting petroleum pipelines, the importation of more hydropower from Upstate andCanada, and incentives for biofuels. Also support efforts to create a clean energyeconomy on Long Island by encouraging the growth of the region's wind and solarindustries and advocate that LIPA donate the Shoreham nuclear power plant site for acargo port and/or manufacturing park for wind turbines and/or solar panels.
8.Curb soaring Medicaid costs for county governments by having the state take over eachcounty's local share, as is done in most states. This would immediately stabilize thefinances for both Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
9.Support the elimination of the state's Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) that haswithheld a total of $1.2 billion in state aid due Long Island schools over the past fouryears.
10.Build on the success of the LIA's Women's Collaborative by supporting women'sissues that include but are not limited to equal pay for equal work, ending workplacesexual harassment and ending sexual discrimination.
11.Support efforts to make child care and early education opportunities more affordable andaccessible to working families.
12.Build regional support for the expansion of Long Island MacArthur Airport with newairlines and destinations and strengthen its connectivity to the LIRR station atRonkonkoma while making it a focus of tourism efforts of the state, county and town.Also, continue to support the growth of Republic Airport (and its inclusion in the Start-Up NY program) and the overall aviation industry on Long Island.
13.Support efforts to simplify the federal tax code in a way that would lower rates acrossthe board and reform the alternative minimum tax while opposing efforts to cap oreliminate federal income tax deductions for state and local taxes and mortgage interest asit would inequitably impact our region.
14.Support clean water efforts that reduce nitrogen and other pollutants while notoverregulating or hindering the business community and support the establishment of theNew York State Center for Clean Water Technology at Stony Brook Universityrecently proposed by the governor as our economy is strengthened by a healthyenvironment and a degraded environment produces fewer jobs.
15.Work with the Long Island Regional Planning Council and local Chambers ofCommerce to relaunch "LI First," a program designed to encourage Long Islandbusinesses to purchase goods and services from other Long Island businesses whileencouraging shopping in our downtowns and establishing business-to-businesscommunications to serve the needs of the small business community.