Tag Archives: governor cuomo

Final New York state budget needs to grow jobs and economy

As the Governor and New York State Legislature progress in final budget negotiations, The Business Council of New York State, Inc. is calling for a final state budget that boost jobs and New York’s economy.

“Job creation and economic growth are key to building strong communities in New York,” said Heather C. Briccetti, Esq., president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc. “Continuing to restrain spending, implementing broad-based tax reform and mandate relief need to be a priority for a final state budget.”

The Council also debuted a new ad, “Help New York’s economy grow,” focusing on how tax cuts will help improve New York’s economy. Watch the ad below.

[youtube height=”HEIGHT” width=”WIDTH”]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5XYdVo6UeQ&feature=youtu.be[/youtube]

Business Council Vice President of Government Affairs Ken Pokalsky’s letter to the editor was published in the Albany Times Union. Read his letter that outlines how increasing taxes won’t help create jobs in New York how tax cuts would help create a more competitive economic climate to generate good-paying jobs and healthier communities.

A study earlier this year by The Public Policy Institute of New York State, Inc. (PPI), “Analysis of Economic Impacts of New York Corporate Income Tax Reform,” showed that when the tax reforms are fully adopted, major business and employment sectors will grow including construction, trades and business service sectors, manufacturing, and financial services.

Among the other issues of concern to The Business Council in a final state budget: Paid Family Leave, Out-of-Network Mandates, Energy Tax, Campaign Finance Reform, Brownfields, and education and tourism funding. Read more on The Business Council’s website.

Business Council’s Ken Pokalsky on Governor Cuomo’s Bank Tax Plan



Ken Pokalsky, The Business Council’s vice president of government affairs, spoke to the Time Warner Cable News show Capital Tonight about the New York State Senate and Assembly one-house budget resolutions that modify Governor Cuomo’s bank tax.

Pokalsky highlighted how changing the bank tax will help keep jobs in New York and boost the economy noting that most states don’t have a separate bank tax and that the proposed changes are the same as changes that happened ten years ago for corporations doing business in NY. Since 1990, nationwide bank jobs have increased by 200,000 but New York state has lost 100,000 bank jobs during that time.

Watch the full interview on the Time Warner Cable news website (TWC ID required).

Pokalsky also spoke out on the issue on WCNY’s Capitol Pressroom earlier in the week.  Listen to the interview on WCNY’s website (starts at 13:30).

Pay For Success finalists announced

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced finalists selected for the Pay for Success program — also known as “Social Impact Bonds” — designed to transform how government does business while serving vulnerable New Yorkers and providing additional resources for innovative social services programs.

Among the finalists selected was Business Council member Hillside Family of Agencies. Hillside Family of Agencies’ Intensive Community Asset Program (I-CAP) provides diversion alternatives to probation officers and family court judges for placement and detention of high-risk youth. The proposal plans to serve approximately 835 youth in Onondaga, Monroe and up to three additional counties.

Pay for Success projects are public-private partnerships where the state sets performance goals and private and philanthropic investors provide the funds for the program. The state repays investors based on the program’s performance, and only makes payments if the goals are achieved.

The 2013-14 New York state budget authorized the state to undertake Pay for Success initiatives in health care, child welfare, early childhood development and public safety. The I-CAP contract is among the first Pay for Success contracts in New York exclusively serving Upstate New York and focused on at-risk youth.

Education reform a priority for The Business Council

Although last week the New York State Board of Regents approved measures to adjust Common Core implementation in New York state — the class of 2022, instead of the class of 2017, will be the first to be required to pass the more rigorous requirements — The Business Council continues to support implementation and the higher academic standards, without delay.

The truth is these standards are much needed to help close the skills gap that exists between recent high school graduates and good paying, in-demand jobs. The Business Council is not the only organization that knows this crucial need.

A recently New York Times editorial, The Common Core in New York, highlights that although the rollout has been bumpy, giving  students a better chance at a good education, is needed and that the state “cannot afford to let this project founder.”

The New York Post recently highlighted how Common Core can help New York students who currently “trail their counterparts in several Asian countries and Russia on math tests.” The article notes that their competitiveness on science exams is even worse.

State Education Commissioner John King also received a show of support from Assemblyman Karim Camara, chair of the state Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus, and state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, chair of the state Senate Puerto Rican and Latino Caucus. City and State quoted a joint statement from the legislators in an article who said, “While this has been an emotional debate with marked differences in public policy, there is no doubt that Commissioner King remains a public servant devoted to improving the education and welfare of New York’s kids. We will continue to work towards closing the achievement gap and other urgent issues with Commissioner King and other stakeholders.”

Governor Cuomo also recently announced a panel that will recommend improvements in the state’s rollout of the Common Core. The panel will be led by Business Council member Stan Litow, IBM’s vice president of corporate citizenship & corporate affairs and president of IBM’s Foundation, who has also led the pioneering Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) concept.

The Business Council of New York State encourages all businesses to sign an open letter of support for Common Core Learning Standards. Heather C. Briccetti Esq., president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc. recently said, “The Business Council of New York State strongly supports the higher academic standards in the Common Core and believes that the state must continue to implement the curriculum without delay.  We also recognize that several corrective actions must be taken in order to be sure that there is a smooth transition to these new, more rigorous standards.

In other education news, a pro-charter schools group, Families for Excellent Schools, launched a campaign opposing New York City Mayor de Blasio’s recent reduction of $210 million in capital as well as a new charter rent policy. The Business Council is a staunch advocate for school choice. Charter schools offer parents and students an alternative to poorly performing public schools. The new Mayor’s efforts to place a moratorium on co-location places city charter schools — most of which fall in high-needs districts — in a position of fiscal uncertainty.

Business Council member, Time Warner Cable News’ blog, State of Politics, recently quoted Rafael Lois, the father of two Girls Prep Bronx scholars who appears in a Families for Excellent Schools video, “The de Blasio administration has said parent voices matter to them, but they seem to be discounting ours. My daughters are receiving an excellent education, which is their moral and legal right, and I will do everything in my power to make sure they continue to have these opportunities.”


NYS Community Schools’ initiative

On Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo launched the NYS Community Schools initiative, a new statewide program aimed at helping schools in distressed communities.

“NYS Community Schools will help give New York students and families a brighter future by transforming our public schools into community institutions that serve the needs of our neighborhoods,” Governor Cuomo said.

Under NYS Community Schools, approximately 30 schools will be selected in the first round to receive grants of up to $500,000 each over three years. These grants will go toward building community partnerships that deliver academic, health, extra-curricular and social services primarily in the school building.

Taste NY on NYS Thruway

IMG_0712 (2)Travelers looking to experience the best of what New York has to offer can now experience Taste NY at New York State Thruway travel plazas.  The kiosk, pictured here, compliments the “Tailgate Farmer’s Markets” tourists are familiar with seeing at the travel plazas, which feature locally grown NY products.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that Taste NY would be sold at strategically located rest stops across the state as part New York’s largest investment in tourism to date.

Visit the New York State Thruway website for locations and more information on the Thruway’s 27 travel plazas.

Small business loans for upstate flooding areas

Last week, Governor Cuomo announced New York residents and businesses affected by the upstate severe storms and flooding can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.  The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) declared Herkimer, Madison, Montgomery and Oneida Counties a disaster area following severe storms in late June.

Loans up to $200,000 are available to owners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate and owners and renters are eligible for loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.  Interest rates are as low as 1.875 percent for homeowners and renters, 2.875 percent for non-profit organizations and 4 percent for businesses with terms up to 30 years.

Business can apply through the SBA’s website.

Deal on corruption before end of session?

As new names come to light as part of the federal corruption probe into New York’s legislature, Governor Cuomo announced that has been no significant progress on establishing tougher anti-corruption measures.

Newsday’s Westchester edition quotes Governor Cuomo as saying he won’t let session end ‘without something being done.’  The Governor also said that he may convene a special prosecutorial panel if lawmakers don’t take action.

Although campaign finances have had nothing to do with the wiretapping scandal, many groups are calling for campaign finance reform as part of a deal. Our campaign finance reform expert Heather Jung has been analyzing the latest proposals.  Keep up to date on our campaign finance reform page or contact her at [email protected] for more information.

Heather Briccetti attends Governor Cuomo’s Tourism Summit

Governor Cuomo Tourism Summit
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Heather Briccetti, president & CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc., is among the business leaders and industry officials who are attending Governor Cuomo’s first Tourism Summit in Albany today. During his opening remarks, the governor said his goal is to ensure the tourism industry will continue to grow. In her comments during the summit, Briccetti commended the governor for “recognizing that focusing on tourism is the same as focusing on business.”

Heather Briccetti at Tourism Summit
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Since taking office, Governor Cuomo has launched a series of initiatives to bolster statewide tourism, including new marketing and advertising campaigns to showcase New York State’s many assets and attractions. As the fifth largest employment sector in New York, tourism supported 694,000 jobs and generated $16.6 billion in wages in 2011.