THE LONG ISLAND ASSOCIATION'S PRIORITIES AND INITIATIVES FOR 2016
The Long Island Association's Priorities and Initiatives for 2016 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 has become 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 10 Priorities in 2016
- Support state funding for the creation of a Research Corridor from Yaphank to Uniondale and two major redevelopment projects at the Nassau and Ronkonkoma Hubs, out of the "Transformative Investment Program," a financial commitment by the state in our physical, intellectual and natural infrastructure that could leverage billions of dollars in additional private investments, while creating thousands of construction and permanent jobs for our region.
- Oppose the proposed increase in the minimum wage to $15 per hour.
- Work with the Long Island Index to help build community support for the "Right Track," Governor Cuomo's proposed Long Island Rail Road Improvement Program: Floral Park-Hicksville Expansion (formerly known as the Third Track) while supporting additional investments in the LIRR, including funding for the MTA's $29 billion 2015-2019 Capital Program, as efforts to make it easier to get to and from New York City strengthen our region.
- Build regional support for the expansion of Long Island MacArthur Airport with new airlines and destinations and strengthen its connectivity to the LIRR station at Ronkonkoma while making it a focus of tourism efforts of the state, county and town and support U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer's, the Governor's and the Town of Islip's efforts to create a Federal Inspection Services facility to allow for international flights directly into and out of MacArthur. Also, continue to support the growth of Republic Airport under its new private operator (and its inclusion in the Start-Up NY program) and the overall aviation industry on Long Island.
- Launch "LI BIO" – a new committee of the LIA that will serve as a platform to help expand Long Island's burgeoning sector of companies focused on biotechnology, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, cosmeceutical and life sciences and that will act as a forum for those in these industries to network, collaborate and educate the LIA about the needs and concerns of their businesses so the LIA can address them in its advocacy efforts.
- Participate in the Integrated Resource Plan being prepared by PSEG-LI and support a new, comprehensive energy master plan for Long Island to guide energy policy decision making in the region while promoting diverse energy supplies and projects, including the expansion of natural gas by importing more and distributing it via existing petroleum pipelines, the importation of more hydropower from Upstate and Canada, and incentives for biofuels. Also, support efforts to address climate change and create a clean energy economy on Long Island by encouraging the growth of the region's wind and solar industries and continue to advocate that LIPA donate the land at the Shoreham nuclear power plant site for a manufacturing park for wind turbines and/or solar panels.
- Support re-authorization of SUNY 2020 to benefit our state colleges, universities and community colleges on Long Island.
- Support more investment in sewage infrastructure in the region that allows for mixed-use and transit-oriented development projects, especially those that will increase the supply of rental housing on Long Island. Also, support the work of the groundwater resource protection plans being prepared by the Long Island Regional Planning Council and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (while not overregulating or hindering the business community) as our economy is strengthened by a healthy environment and a degraded environment produces fewer jobs.
- Build on the success of the LIA's Women's Collaborative by supporting businesswomen's issues that include but are not limited to equal pay for equal work, ending workplace sexual harassment and sexual discrimination, and support efforts to make child care and early education opportunities more affordable and accessible to working families as they are critical to economic development, and support studying the feasibility of "employee-funded" family leave policies to strengthen working families.
- Work with the Association for a Better Long Island and support state legislation that would allow municipalities to implement a "professional certification" program in order to save commercial landlords time and money when they are making non-complex changes to their buildings in order to attract or keep tenants, thus allowing a municipality in certain circumstances to issue a building permit/certificate of occupancy by relying on the certification of a Professional Engineer or Registered Architect that the building renovations were completed in compliance with applicable building and zoning laws and codes.