February 3, 2012
LIA Albany Update - Redistricting
The New York State Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment has released proposed district maps for the New York State Assembly and New York State Senate. The maps can be found here: http://www.latfor.state.ny.us/maps/.
Budget Completion Schedule
Majority Leader Skelos and Speaker Silver have announced the budget completion schedule for 2012:
On or before:
- February 29: Joint Revenue Forecasting Conference
- February 29: Senate/Assembly Fiscal Committee Economic & Revenue Reports Released
- March 1: Revenue Consensus Report
- March 12: Senate & Assembly budget actions
- March 13: Joint Senate/Assembly budget conference committees commence
- March 19-20: Final Report of Joint Conference Committee
- March 19-22: Joint Legislative budget bills taken up by Senate & Assembly
Lt. Governor Robert Duffy Visits LIA Headquarters
On January 23rd, Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy visited Kevin Law and the Long Island Association's headquarters. Accompanied by Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, Lieutenant Governor Duffy announced Governor Andrew Cuomo's mandate relief and pension reform plans. The mandate reform proposals will save Long Island taxpayers more than $140 million over the next five years and the pension reform proposal will save $10 to $15 billion over the next 30 years. To read the press release, click here.
Governor Cuomo's Mandate Relief Council
The Mandate Relief Council met on Wednesday, January 25 in the State Capitol in Albany. The Council was created by the Governor and Legislature to address the skyrocketing costs facing local governments that have contributed to New York State's high property tax rates. Wednesday's meeting was the first public meeting of the Council, which will also be conducting public hearings across the state.
The Mandate Relief Council is an eleven-member Executive and Legislative council charged with reviewing and advancing proposals to reduce the statutory and regulatory burden on local governments and school districts. Governor Cuomo signed the law creating the Mandate Relief Council as part of a mandate relief package that will save local governments and school districts more than $125 million.
The State depends on its local governments and school districts to deliver essential services to its residents and often prescribes how these services should be provided. These requirements are woven throughout State laws and regulations - limiting flexibility and increasing costs. The Council was created to find, review, and reform these mandates.
Members of the Council include:
- Lawrence Schwartz, Chair, Secretary to the Governor
- Mylan Denerstein, Counsel to the Governor
- Robert Megna, Director of the Division of the Budget
- Cesar Perales, Secretary of State
- David Wakelyn, Deputy Secretary for Education
- James Introne, Deputy Secretary for Health
- Kristin Proud, Deputy Secretary for Human Services, Operations, and Technology
- Senator Elizabeth Little (appointed by the Temporary President of the Senate)
- Senator Jack Martins (appointed by the Temporary President of the Senate)
- Assemblyman Carl Heastie (appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly)
- Assemblyman William Magnarelli (appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly)
Medicaid Reform News
Governor Cuomo's Medicaid Redesign Team's 2012-2013 Executive Budget Briefing Webinar and Presentation are available at the following link: http://www.health.ny.gov/health_care/medicaid/redesign/
State Funding for MWBE
On February 2nd, Governor Cuomo announced $82 million in construction contracts for minority and women owned business enterprises. To learn more click here.
Economic Report Issued by Comptroller DiNapoli
New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has issued a report indicating that New York State's economic recovery may be losing momentum. To see his press release and read his new report on economic trends, click here.
Gov. Cuomo Announces Financing for Energy Efficiency
Governor Cuomo announced that New York consumers seeking to make energy-efficient upgrades to their homes can now obtain low cost financing and repay the loan on their monthly utility bill. The program, known as On-Bill Recovery Financing, allows costs incurred by homeowners to be offset through energy savings while reducing consumption and air pollution, making it a win-win for New Yorkers. To view press release click here.
NYSERDA Study on Solar Power
On August 4, 2011, the Power New York Act of 2011 (the Act) was signed into law. Section 22 of the Act directed NYSERDA to conduct a Study on Increasing Generation from Photovoltaic Devices in New York (the Solar Study). While the current contribution of solar photovoltaic (PV) energy generation is small and the cost of the technology is at a premium compared with market electricity prices, the Act sought analysis of the benefits and costs of PV, acknowledging that costs are declining and noting the potential for PV energy generation to contribute to economic development and job creation in the State.
The Act directed NYSERDA to conduct, in consultation with the Department of Public Service, a study regarding policy options that could be used to achieve goals (the Goals) of 2,500 MW of installed capacity operating by 2020 and 5,000 MW operating by 2025. The Act called for NYSERDA to report to the Governor and the legislature on or before January 31, 2012 regarding the Solar Study's findings and recommendations. Specifically, the Act directed that the Solar Study should: 1) Identify administrative and policy options that could be used to achieve the Goals, 2) Estimate the per-megawatt cost of achieving increased generation from PV devices and the costs of achieving the Goals using the options identified in the analysis, 3) Analyze the net economic and job creation benefits of achieving the Goals using each of the options identified in the analysis, and 4) Conduct an analysis of the environmental benefits of achieving the Goals using the options identified in the analysis.
NYSERDA recently issued its analysis of the benefits and costs of increasing generation from photovoltaic devices in New York. To read their study, click here.
Legislation of Interest
Here is a list of bills on the move and 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.