Monthly Archives: July 2013

Companies receive Recharge New York funding

Last week, The New York Power Authority (NYPA) Board of Trustees awarded 18 businesses in across New York State low-cost power under the ReCharge New York (RNY) program.

This is the sixth round of power allocations under RNY, a program that provides low-cost power to businesses that agree to retain or create jobs. The 18 companies provide 3,191 jobs statewide and more than $446 million in capital investments.

Four companies on the list contribute to New York’s robust dairy and yogurt industry including Byrne Dairy, HP Hood, Agrana Fruit US, and Ultra Dairy.

RNYallocations-Chart

Governor Cuomo signs casino bill

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo (D-NY) signed the Upstate NY Gaming Economic Development Act yesterday, a comprehensive new law that, pending approval of a referendum this fall, will establish four destination gaming resorts in Upstate New York aimed at boosting tourism and economic development in communities across the region.

The new law authorizes four upstate destination gaming resorts that will be selected based on the economic development impact of the resort.  The three approved regions for the casinos are the Hudson Valley–Catskill area, the Capital District-Saratoga area, and the Central-Southern Tier area.  One of these areas will hold two casinos while the other areas will get one each.

The State Gaming Commission will oversee regulation of destination gaming resorts and determine the required minimum amount of capital expenditures and license fee required.  The bill also outlines how the state tax revenues will benefit education; Indian gaming zones will stay in place and more.

The bill signing clears the way for a referendum this fall on the issue where voters will consider  the constitutional amendment to expand casinos across the state.

Read a full overview of the legislation on the Governor’s website.

Finger Lakes REDC meeting

The Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council will hold a public meeting today, Wednesday, July 31, 2013, at the Wegmans Conference Center in Rochester, NY.  Businesses, organizations, labor representatives and university representatives from the Finger Lakes region encompassing Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates counties are welcome to attend.

Topics discussed will include membership changes, an update on the Eastman Business Park, a NY Works Task Force presentation and a REDC Round III review and update.

Where: Wegmans Conference Center
200 Wegmans Market Street
Rochester, New York 14624

When: Wednesday, July 31, 2013
3 to 5 p.m.

For more information, contact Laura Magee at Empire State Development.

Appellate court upholds ruling that sugary drink ban is unconstitutional

Yesterday, the First Division of the state Supreme Court’s Appellate Division upheld a March New York Supreme Court ruling that found New York City’s push to ban large, sugary drinks from being sold at restaurants and other recreational facilities as being unconstitutional.

“Like the Supreme Court, we conclude that in promulgating this regulation the Board of Health failed to act within the bounds of its lawfully delegated authority,” appellate judges wrote in a unanimous decision.

Many business groups fought the ban, including The Business Council of New York State which joined a diverse coalition of business groups and elected officials in filing amicus briefs with the state’s Appellate Court to oppose the ban.

“Banning beverages would adversely impact many of New York City’s small businesses,” said Heather C. Briccetti, Esq., president and CEO of The Business Council.  “The ban is arbitrary, creates an unfair playing field among businesses and imposes new restrictions on businesses and consumers alike.”

Multi-industry letter regarding immigration reform

The Business Council of New York State signed on to a multi-industry letter that was sent yesterday to leaders of The U.S. House of Representatives encouraging Congress to bring meaningful reforms to the nation’s immigration system.  The Business Council supports immigration reform to meet the needs of citizens and businesses and improve economic competitiveness.

The letter encourages Congress to reform an outdated system and that by enacting immigration reform now, it will “accelerate U.S. economic growth” at a time when the nation is still struggling to recover economically.

It also points out that problems with the immigration system “have grown and multiplied,” hampering “current and future productivity, ingenuity, and competitiveness” in key sectors of our economy, including agriculture, housing, manufacturing, tourism, engineering, and technology.

Read the full letter on The Business Council of New York State website.

DiNapoli: State’s fiscal outlook improving

New York State’s short-term fiscal outlook has improved, but long-term structural balance remains a challenge, according to a report on the state financial plan released yesterday by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.  The Comptroller also released a report on the state’s first quarter fiscal results, finding tax revenue growth has been strong so far, but such gains are likely to moderate in coming months.

“There’s no doubt New York is in a better budget position now than it was a short time ago,” DiNapoli said.

The state’s Enacted Budget Financial Plan, prepared by the state Division of the Budget, projects budget gaps of $2 billion in state fiscal year (SFY) 2014-15 and $2.9 billion in each of the following two years, which are lower than projections from the executive’s earlier proposed budget.

Gillibrand, Tonko support Brownfield revitalization legislation

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Rep. Paul D. Tonko (D-NY) announced their support yesterday for The Brownfields Utilization, Investment and Local Development Act (BUILD Act) that would revitalize efforts to redevelop former industrial sites.

The program would provide an increased funding ceiling for cleanup grants and allow funds to be used for administrative costs; allow the Environmental Protection Agency to award multipurpose grants to cover every stage in the remediation and development project; expand eligibility for site assessment grants to nonprofit organizations; and making clean energy projects eligible for funding.

The bill has been introduced in Congress and Senator Gillibrand said it has gained bipartisan support.

Hearings for a new CNY, NNY area code

The New York State Public Service Commission (Commission) will hold public hearings next week on new area code options for the 315 area code region of Central and Northern New York.  The region is expected to run out of 315 telephone numbers by 2015.  The two plans being proposed include a geographic split where certain areas would adopt a new area code but other areas would keep the 315 area code and another plan, known as an overlay, which would allow for new phone numbers in the 315 area code to use a new area code.

Hearings will be held the following dates and times:

Monday, August 5, 2013 – Utica

Tuesday, August 6, 2013 – Watertown

Wednesday, August 7, 2013 – Syracuse

For more information on times and locations, visit the PSC website.

Comments can also be submitted via the internet, mail or by telephone by August 16, 2013. Comments can be sent to Acting Secretary, at secretary@dps.ny.gov; or mailed or delivered to Hon. Jeffrey C. Cohen, Acting Secretary, Public Service Commission, Three Empire State Plaza, Albany, New York 12223-1350.  Comments should refer to “Case 07-C-1486 – 315 Area Code Relief;” or call the Commission’s Opinion Line at 1-800-335-2120.

Businesses to pay more under ACA

Although many news outlets have reported that health insurance offered under the Affordable Care Act in New York will cost less, businesses will most likely see a rate increase.  In the Albany area, the increase could be as much as 12.8 percent, according to The Business Review.

Comparing current plans to those that will be offered is difficult as the new plans under the Affordable Care Act  have different requirements.  Matthew Clarke of Bouchey & Clarke Benefits Inc., who compared current and future plans, said the comparison is not “apples to apples” but analyzing comparable plans shows a cost increase of at least 12.8 percent.

Read the full article on The Business Review website (subscription based).