The Long Island Association’s Priorities and Initiatives for 2021 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, create affordable housing, reduce the federal, state and local 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 as we try to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and rebuild our economy.
The LIA’s Top Priorities
- Support congressional passage of an additional Covid-19 relief package that includes funding for small businesses; state and local governments and transit systems like the MTA and LIRR; and more money for the Paycheck Protection Program.
- Advocate for the full reinstatement of SALT deductions as the federal cap on deductions inequitably impacts our region.
- Oppose the proposed federal single payer health insurance plan commonly referred to as “Medicare for All.”
- Support a new federal infrastructure program to help rebuild our economy and create jobs.
- Advocate for an increase in the amount of space leased by the federal government for offshore wind, including in the New York Bight.
- Advocate for President Biden to convene a new Presidential Commission on Food Insecurity in the United States which is more critical than ever in light of the impact of Covid-19.
- Support efforts to safeguard our public health and mitigate the negative impact of Covid-19, including financial assistance for small businesses and a new business interruption insurance reform law that requires policies to offer the option of purchasing pandemic coverage, while also ensuring that our business and real estate communities are not unduly burdened by unnecessarily restrictive laws and regulations on its operations.
- Oppose new taxes or fees on businesses, and any new fees and income surcharges that would disproportionately impact Long Island residents and businesses, to close the state’s projected multi-billion budget deficit, and oppose any state efforts to shift additional Medicaid costs to county governments.
- Oppose the New York Health Act which would eliminate private health insurance and impose billions of dollars in new state taxes to pay for a state-based single payer health insurance system, and oppose a wholesale reduction in provider reimbursement rates from current commercial levels which would cause a significant financial impact to hospitals, physicians and health systems, endangering access and quality of health care for all New Yorkers.
- Support efforts to make Long Island the offshore wind capital of our country. Continue to support the Governor’s call for 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind; and lead regional efforts to support the construction of 2,500 megawatts recently awarded to two Equinor projects,1,700 megawatts previously awarded to the Empire Wind and Sunrise Wind projects, dedicated port facilities to buttress the ongoing operations and maintenance out of Port Jefferson and Port of Montauk Harbor and new state investments in an Offshore Wind Training Institute based at SUNY Stony Brook and Farmingdale State College.
- Oppose increased taxes on employers set to occur automatically to repay the nearly $10 billion borrowed from the federal government by New York State’s unemployment insurance program due to Covid-19. Advocate for the state to ease the immediate negative impact on employers by encouraging the state Labor Department to suspend “experience rating” in setting employers’ UI tax rates for 2021.
- Support Governor Cuomo’s proposal to repurpose underutilized commercial space for new affordable housing but advocate for it to be expanded to Long Island with state support as the current proposal only includes properties in New York City.
- Support Governor Cuomo’s proposal to expand 5G which is now critical to meet the needs of remote education, telehealth and businesses caused by the pandemic, and will help bridge the digital divide hurting underserved communities, and ensure equitable access for Long Island.
- Support the amendment of General Business Law §349 and General Business Law §350 to clearly state that statutory damages do not apply in class actions in accordance with the original intent of the State Legislature.
- Oppose any further expansion of prevailing wage legislation while ensuring the recently established Public Subsidy Board created to determine the applicability of projects and make additional recommendations includes sufficient representation from real estate and the business communities.
- Oppose the expansion of rent regulations in New York State that could negatively impact the cost of new apartments on Long Island (which has the smallest percentage of rental housing of any metropolitan area in the country) as developers would struggle to attract the private financing necessary to build more affordable units despite the substantial demand in the region.
- Support continued state funding for the creation of a Research Corridor from Brookhaven National Laboratory to the New York Genome Center in Manhattan and expand the corridor east to include research activities on Plum Island. Support increased federal funding for research at our world-class local institutions and facilities, and support the Neuro-AI Center at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, increased investment in Stony Brook University’s engineering building and the new Applied Social Sciences Center at Farmingdale State College.
- Support and promote policies and programs that will make child care and early education more affordable and accessible to all working families on Long Island that will lead to additional economic development opportunities, workplace productivity and retention of more young professionals and families. Also, advocate for equitable state funding for pre-kindergarten education and a regional technical assistance center for Long Island.
- Support state legislation that would allow municipalities to implement a “professional certification” program for expansions and renovations on single family homes and 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.
- Support a new five-year New York State Department of Transportation Capital Plan that fully funds critical road, highway and bridge projects on Long Island, including New York Route 347, the Oakdale Merge, Sagtikos Parkway widening, Northern State Parkway widening, Meadowbrook Parkway at Southern State Parkway capacity improvements and the Long Island Expressway at Shelter Rock Road, as well as a doubling of the CHIPs funding for local municipalities.
- Support New York State Court of Appeals Chief Judge Janet DiFiore’s proposed constitutional amendment to make the State court system more efficient, more accessible to litigants and less costly to businesses, and support the creation of a 5th Department of the Appellate Division for Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
- Lead the LIA-Long Island Regional Planning Council special solid waste committee to help encourage collaboration with municipalities to develop regional solutions that address the looming crisis in solid waste management, landfill closure and the volatile recycling market.
- Coordinate the LIA’s Special Energy Committee to reevaluate the electric utility model on Long Island, including whether or not the system should be fully municipalized, fully privatized or remain in a public-private partnership with certain improvements.
- Support Nassau County’s efforts to secure local approvals and state funding for the redevelopment at the Nassau Hub, including the creation of a live, work, play Innovation District with a Biotech Park surrounding anchor tenant Northwell Health; a Bus Rapid Transit system to the Hempstead and Mineola LIRR stations; affordable housing; and green pedestrian crossings to Hofstra University, Nassau Community College and RXR Plaza as well as a structured parking facility to maximize the usage for the remaining acreage surrounding the Nassau Coliseum.
- Support the efforts of Suffolk County and the Town of Islip to redevelop the south side of the Ronkonkoma Hub adjacent to Long Island MacArthur Airport and support the Midway project, including a new structured parking facility and additional infrastructure improvements, a privately financed sports, entertainment, life sciences and health care hub, along with a state-of-the-art convention center
- 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.
- Continue developing a sports economy on Long Island, including the completion of the new UBS Arena at Belmont Park as the new home of the New York Islanders, and build business and community support for our other professional sports teams such as the Long Island Nets G-League basketball team and New York Riptide lacrosse team playing at the NYCB LIVE Nassau Coliseum, the Long Island Ducks baseball team playing at Fairfield Properties Ballpark, New York Lizards lacrosse team and Long Island Rough Riders soccer team playing at Hofstra University, and the New York Cosmos soccer team playing at the Mitchel Athletic Complex; while establishing our region as an appealing destination for additional professional sports teams and golf tournaments.
- Support more investment in sewage infrastructure and 21st century septic systems 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.
- Support a regional marketing effort with Discover Long Island, the Long Island IDA Coalition and other organizations to promote all the good investments being made in our region’s infrastructure, environment, education and efforts to expand our life sciences industries.
- Support equality and diversity on Long Island and speak out against racial steering, segregation and speech that breeds hatred, especially against undocumented immigrants, which is wrong and hurts the perception of our business region. Also, advocate for increased compliance and public awareness to curb housing discrimination while supporting updated zoning policies and additional tax incentives to encourage developers to build more multifamily housing, particularly affordable units, and support additional fair housing education efforts.
- Support the Hauppauge Industrial Association’s Long Island Innovation Park and its plans to cluster together industries there, while adding new apartments and recreational spaces in the park, as well as the development of a Workforce Training Center.