March 5, 2012
LIA Albany Update - 2012 Budget
By: Matthew Cohen, VP of Government Affairs & Commun
The LIA supports an on-time budget that closes the deficit, creates jobs and grows the economy while benefiting the business community on Long Island. As the Governor and legislative leaders negotiate, the LIA strongly urges them to approve a budget that includes sweeping mandate relief and pension reform with the State taking over the costs of Medicaid growth for Nassau and Suffolk Counties and the establishment of a new Tier VI; both of which will save our counties and local governments hundreds of millions of dollars in the future. The LIA also supports major economic development initiatives that leverages private resources to invest in our infrastructure and a second round of regional economic development awards. Information about the Governor's proposed budget can be found here: http://www.budget.ny.gov/.
Significant Issues in this Legislative Session
Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature will also confront several significant issues during this legislative session, including additional mandate relief, the redistricting of state legislative and congressional boundaries, creation of a New York State Health Care Exchange (if not negotiated as part of the budget), casino gaming, and an increase in the minimum wage. This is in addition to the thousands of other bills that will be introduced. While the LIA has been supportive of efforts to control state spending, reign in pension costs and provide mandate relief to our municipalities, it is still evaluating issues like casino gaming and the minimum wage, among other critical items. The LIA will monitor and keep you updated on the impacts and movement of various bills of interest to the Long Island business community.
New Teacher Evaluation Guidelines
Governor Cuomo, New York State Education Commissioner John King, and New York State United Teachers President Richard Iannuzzi announced an agreement on a new statewide evaluation system that will make New York State a national leader in holding teachers accountable for student achievement.
The agreement gives significant guidance to local school districts for the implementation of a teacher evaluation system that is based on multiple measures of performance including student achievement and rigorous classroom observations. The agreement follows through on the state's commitment to put in place a real and effective teacher evaluation system as a condition to recovering the $700 million granted through the federal Race to the Top program. To read more about it click here.
Surety Bond Assistance Program for MWBE
Governor Cuomo recently launched the first statewide surety bond assistance program for Minority -and Women -Owned Businesses (MWBE's). This program will provide financial assistance to help MWBEs secure surety bonds and state contracts. To read the official press release click here.
Tax Collections in Line with Lower Projections
According to a report recently released by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, tax collections through the first 10 months of the 2011-12 fiscal year were in line with recent projections, which were lowered last month. Collections totaled $54.2 billion, $84.2 million higher than estimates updated in January, but nearly $390 million below initial estimates in the 2011-12 Enacted Budget. To read more about it click here.
Legislation of Interest
Here is a list of bills on the move or recently introduced legislation that has sponsors in both the Assembly and Senate and may be of interest to you. The bill texts and memos can be found here: http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/menuf.cgi. If you would like me to send you copies, please let me know. There are many other bills that have also been introduced. If you are aware of any that you think the LIA should be advocating for or against, please let me know. To view list of recently introduced legislation click here.
New York State Legislature Committee Schedule
To view upcoming committee schedule click here.