Monthly Archives: April 2014

Amicus brief filed in the Court of Appeals

This week, The Business Council of New York State, Inc. joined with the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, Inc., the National Association of Royalty Owners, NARO-NY, the Upstate New York Towns Association, Inc., and Southern Tier Residents for Economic Independence to file an amicus brief with the New York State Court of Appeals requesting the court reverse lower courts’ decisions involving two natural gas cases.

The brief states that the lower courts’ misapplications of the legal preemption issues in the cases Norse Energy Corp. USA vs. Town of Dryden and Town of Dryden Town Board, and Cooperstown Holstein Corp. vs. Town of Middlefield, further support the preemption of townwide bans on all oil and gas activities. It also highlights that New York state has an overriding interest in the development and promotion of its oil and gas reserves, and that there is a need for uniformity across the state with a comprehensive state law that supersedes restrictive and inconsistent local laws and ordinances.

The brief argues that decisions on New York’s natural resources must be made at the state level by New York state and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. As such, the brief calls on the New York State Court of Appeals to reverse the lower courts’ decisions so that, if state leaders decide they can bring overwhelming economic and environmental benefits to New York through natural gas extraction, that they are able to do so without encountering problematic constitutional issues.

Read the full amicus brief.

Military veterans join racing veterans at Yonkers Raceway this weekend

This weekend, Business Council member Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway will host HorseAbility for Heroes on Saturday, April 26 at  7:00 p.m. The special event is a culmination of efforts between Robbie Siegelman, a long-time New York-area horse trainer, HorseAbility of Old Westbury, N.Y., the Standardbred Owners Association of NY (SOANY) and Yonkers Raceway.

Siegelman is a volunteer at HorseAbility, a therapeutic center which offers a wide range of equine-related therapy programs to children and adults.  As part of the HorseAbility For Heroes program, Siegelman teaches military veterans and their families to jog Standardbred horses.

Veterans will demonstrate newly learned horsemanship skills by jogging horses for the first time on the racetrack as they lead the post parades for the first three races of the evening.  Along with their family members, they will also present trophies to the winners of the evening’s races.

In a special tribute to the veterans, members of the Yonkers Police Department will serve as the color guard for the National Anthem beginning at 7 p.m. Following the races, the veterans and their family members will enjoy a trackside dinner in the Empire Terrace Restaurant.

Post time is 7:10 p.m. for the first race. The Saturday 12-race card features the $567,000 final of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series and the $371,400 final of the Blue Chip Matchmaker.

For more information, visit HorseAbility of Old Westbury’s website.



New York Architects to honor design excellence in public buildings

Business Council member The American Institute of Architects New York State (AIANYS) will honor the winners of a new competition celebrating design and professional excellence in publicly funded buildings in New York State on Monday, April 28.

The Excelsior Awards provide a model for future state-funded building design and professional practice and advocacy.  Winning projects stimulate their surrounding neighborhoods and promote public safety and security, while the professional awards recognize leaders who fight for sustainable, high performing new buildings and for the preservation and appropriate reuse of buildings that contribute to the common good.

The American Institute of Architects New York State (AIANYS) speaks for the interests of all registered architects throughout New York. The organization’s goals are to elevate the professional standing of the architecture community, mobilize both AIANYS members and policymakers as advocates in support of the architectural profession, and educate the public at large about architecture’s power to transform and improve lives.

Founded in 1931, AIANYS has 7,100 members in 13 chapters statewide who are practicing architects, allied professionals, students, and public members interested in architecture and design. Its parent organization, the American Institute of Architects (AIA), is a nationwide, membership-based organization.

For more information, visit  The American Institute of Architects New York State.

Career and technical education key to New York’s future

The Business Council is actively seeking additional member participation for our Career and Technical Education (CTE) committee. Chuck Szuberla, assistant commissioner at the state education department, recently noted  the importance of CTE and its link to college and career readiness including the fact that an additional $1 trillion could be injected into the U.S. economy annually, if U.S. students performed at the same level in math as students in Canada.

The majority of students who complete CTE programs have over a 90 percent graduation rate but early exposure to it is critical. CTE requires rigorous instruction and is not a lowering of standards. The Board of Regents is currently looking into multiple pathways to graduation, including a specialized CTE diploma. The Business Council encourages companies that support an alternative to the Regents diploma to express their support to the Regents.

One example of a model that is successfully incorporating CTE programming is the New York State Pathways in Technology Early College High School program (NYS P-TECH). This partnership between school districts, private sector companies and the State University of New York has the goal of ensuring that students are prepared with academic, technical and soft skills — such as critical thinking — needed for success post-high school. There are currently 16 partnerships from across the state, which allow businesses to play a critical role in mentoring and providing work-site learning experiences.

Please contact Sonia Lindell to get involved with The Council’s CTE education efforts.

President Briccetti makes 2014 ‘Albany Power 100 List’


City & State, one of the only state publications exclusively devoted to New York politics and policy, named Business Council President and CEO Heather C. Briccetti, Esq. one of Albany’s Power 100 for 2014. The list is a who’s who of influencers on the Albany political scene.

This is the second year President Briccetti has been featured on the list, which is, according to City & State, “generated through off-the-record conversations with many of the state’s most savvy political insiders.”

The publication highlighted how President Briccetti’s voice matters in Albany, which means The Business Council has a real say in helping to craft the state’s economic development policies in addition to protecting and promoting the interests of our members.

Daily News columnist: Time is right for Scaffold Law reform

New York Daily News columnist Bill Hammond says the case for reforming New York’s so-called Scaffold Law has never been stronger than right now.

Hammond cites sky rocketing liability insurance premiums for contractors —fueled by the law — that threaten to slow the entire industry to a crawl and a new study that finds the law actually contributes to higher accident rates on construction projects.

Hammond writes, “Cornell economist Rick Geddes, a public policy professor and coauthor of the study, calculates that workplaces covered by the Scaffold Law see an extra 5.5 accidents per 1,000 employees.

“Even more devastating was the outcome of a “natural experiment” in Illinois — another big state with a lot of high-rise construction that repealed its version of the scaffold law in 1995.
“Accident rates have fallen in both states in the period since. But before repeal, Illinois had a worse track record than New York. Since repeal, its worksites have become significantly safer than ours.”

To read the entire column please click here.

Petroleum Institute plans campaign to boost gas development

The New York State Petroleum Institute has released results of a statewide poll that shows widespread support for energy development among registered voters in the state.
The poll, conducted by Harris Poll, among 601 registered voters also found that:

– 89 percent of registered New York voters agree that increased development of the country’s energy infrastructure would help create jobs in the U.S.

– 87 percent say that increased production of domestic oil and natural gas resources could lead to more jobs in the U.S.

– 84 percent say increased development of the country’s energy infrastructure is good for American consumers.

You can read more about the poll and about a new grassroots effort to promote natural gas development in this press briefing by New York State Petroleum Council Executive Director, Karen Moreau.

GlobalFoundries and Samsung to make advanced computer chips

Business Council member GlobalFoundries is teaming up with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. of Korea to jointly produce a more advanced computer chip, which means more work for the GlobalFoundries’ expanding factory in Malta, NY.

GlobalFoundries will license Samsung technology as the two companies prepare to produce computer chips that are smaller, faster and use less power. In industry terminology the technology is known as 14 nanometer FinFET.

Samsung will make the chips at its foundries in Korea and Austin, Texas, while GlobalFoundries would make them in Malta.

“This represents a very strategic relationship with a world leader in the mobile space and is great news for Fab 8 in N.Y. and GlobalFoundries in general,” the company said in a statement.

The partnership is viewed in the industry as a push to compete with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp., the largest contract computer chip maker in the world.

You can read the GlobalFoundries news release here.

Energy: Creating jobs and driving the economy

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for 21st Century Energy’s infographic shows that energy projects across the nation are bringing in billions of dollars in revenue that help to fund programs and projects at the federal, state and local levels.

Energy is providing millions of jobs and generating trillions in private sector investments. In 2012 alone, American oil and gas production contributed more than $62 billion in tax revenue-more than the GDP of some U.S. states.