Monthly Archives: September 2015

Behind the Q-Poll

Most pollsters will tell you, how you ask the question can impact the answer. What they don’t always mention is the result can often significantly alter the public narrative on an issue.

Last week’s Quinnipiac University poll is a perfect example. Their press release claimed “New York poll found voters back $15 minimum wage,” and in their first poll question, “Would you support or oppose raising the state’s minimum wage to $15.00 an hour over the next several years?” participants agreed, 62 to 35%. The headline in a number of media outlets was, Q poll shows support for Governor’s $15 minimum wage proposal.

But that poll had a second minimum wage question, and the response has been largely ignored by the media.

It asked: Which of four options “…comes closest to your point of view regarding raising the state’s minimum wage,”?

  • No increase
  • an increase but less than $15
  • an increase to $15
  • or an increase above $15

For this question, 49% preferred something less than $15, slightly more than the 48% who preferred $15 or higher. Interestingly, for upstate respondents, 61% supported an increase under $15, including 13% who chose no increase. When given a range of choices, the Q-poll found that New Yorkers in fact are split on the $15 per hour proposal.

Then there is this opinion piece in yesterday’s NY Post. Michael Saltsman, from the Employment Policy Institute, used Google’s Consumer Survey tool to survey 504 New Yorkers. He first asked about a $15 per hour minimum wage, and – similar to Quinnipiac – found a support rate of 57%. But when they asked whether New Yorker’s would support that policy if it would cause some less-skilled employees to lose their jobs, the results flipped to 57% in opposition. When asked how they’d feel about a $15 minimum wage if it would cause some small businesses to close, 67% opposed it.

No doubt, there will be numerous studies on the economic impact of a $15 minimum wage. Three west coast cities– Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles – have adopted laws moving toward that figure, and some data are already showing job loss. Stay tuned.

New York slips in Legal Climate Ranking

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform is out with their latest rankings of state legal climates and New York State has slipped to number 21. While not a precipitous decline, we had been ranked the 18th best climate when the survey was last conducted in 2012, we are clearly going in the wrong direction. The Business Council strongly believes that more work needs to be done to ensure we do not slip further back in the pack.

Despite the setback, New York did receive high marks in two key areas, ranking in the top five in: “Having and enforcing meaningful venue requirements” and “Scientific and technical evidence”.

Here is more on the survey itself: “The 2015 Lawsuit Climate Survey constitutes the tenth fielding of the survey and builds upon previous studies, the first of which was initiated in 2002.1 Prior to these rankings, information regarding the attitudes of the business community toward the legal systems in each of the states had been largely anecdotal. The 2015 Lawsuit Climate Survey aims to quantify how corporate attorneys, as significant participants in state courts, view the state systems by measuring and synthesizing their perceptions of key elements of each state’s liability system into a 1-50 ranking. Participants in the survey were comprised of a national sample of 1,203 in-house general counsel, senior litigators or attorneys, and other senior executives at companies with at least $100 million in annual revenues2 who indicated they: (1) are knowledgeable about litigation matters; and (2) have recent litigation experience in each state they evaluate.”

You can read this year’s results, and check on the stats from prior years, by clicking here.

P-TECH Praise

During an interview that aired Monday night on NY1, Errol Louis asked new state education commissioner MaryEllen Elia why it seemed so difficult to replicate school programs and systems that work well. In her response, Elia touted the P-TECH program as a great example of effective replication.

The P-TECH school in Brooklyn — which is a collaboration between IBM, New York City Department of Education, City University of New York and City Tech—serves as the model for the New York State Pathways in Technology Early College High School (NYS P-TECH) program, which includes 26 schools (grade 9-14) across the state.

The expanding NYS P-TECH program also includes seven yet-to-be-announced partnerships whose schools will open their doors in September 2016.

The Business Council strongly supports the early college high school model, and has been instrumental in recruiting employers from around the state to partner with community colleges and school districts to collaborate on P-TECH’s innovative, STEM-focused career schools.

Watch Commissioner MaryEllen Elia’s interview here, NY1 Online: State Education Commissioner Talks School Reform, Common Core & More. (Time Warner Cable login may be required).