Tuesday, June 30, 2009

WEBCAST TODAY: At 12:30 p.m. Gov. Paterson will discuss Senate Inaction

Governor Paterson is scheduled to hold a news conference this afternoon at 12:30 p.m. to update New Yorker's and discuss this legislation. A live webcast will be available at www.ny.gov.governor/webcast and an on-demand video will be available later this afternoon at www.ny.gov.governor/video.

The following is a list of the most critical, non-controversial bills as identified and described by the governor's office as requiring immediate legislative action.

Power for Jobs: A consensus agreement was reached to extend the Power for Jobs and Energy Cost Savings Benefit programs in a Leaders Meeting on May 28. Failure to pass this legislation by June 30, 2009 will negatively affect 570 businesses in New York State, which employ more than 330,000 people. As of July 1, these businesses will lose their benefits under the program and many will have to enter into alternative power arrangements, making it impossible to fully reverse the damage. (S.6031/S.50001/A.9039)

Mayoral Control: Mayoral control of New York City public schools expires on June 30, 2009. If it expires, a new structure of the formerly disbanded community school districts would need to be recreated, which would be time consuming and costly, thereby distracting time and resources from the education of children in New York City. This would have the most immediate impact on summer school classes, which begin in July. Costs would include school board elections, office rentals, and other expenses. The educational gains that resulted from Mayoral control would be lost. (S.5887/S.50003/A.8903-A)

Local Revenue Legislation: Failure of the Senate to approve legislation passed by the Assembly could have a $1.9 billion budgetary impact on local governments across New York State leading to massive increases in property taxes and cuts to vital services. This includes: $887 million in revenue actions needed to balance New York City’s 2009-10 budget; the loss of nearly $700 million in revenue associated with 35 county sales tax extenders; and over $350 million in other local government financing and revenue measures, such as the extension of NYC bond financing authority and allowing Nassau County to issues bond for retirement incentive costs, in order to avoid layoffs of County employees. Local taxpayers could also face property tax increases due to the Senate’s failure to pass legislation that would allow municipalities to phase-in substantial anticipated increases in local government employee pension costs over a multi-year period. Each one percent of employer salary base pension contribution is estimated to cost $180 million for local governments.

Lower Manhattan Tax Exemption Extensions: This bill would extend the temporary exemption from commercial rent and occupancy tax for premises used for retail sales (expires June 30, 2009) and the sales tax exemption for equipping office space (expires September 1, 2009) in Lower Manhattan and the World Trade Center area. Failure to pass this legislation would discontinue incentives used to attract and retain commercial tenants in Lower Manhattan, which is in the process of redeveloping since the devastating attacks of September 11, 2001. (S.5880/S.50049/A.8889)

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