Governor Outlines End of Session Agenda
Earlier this week Governor Andrew Cuomo went on the radio and talked at some length about what he would like to see happen before the legislative year ends. With less than a month remaining on the legislative calendar, the Governor’s wish list seems ambitious as many of the remaining legislative items have a number of hurdles to overcome before a consensus is reached.
The two issues taking up most of the legislative oxygen in the Capitol over recent weeks were both mentioned by the Governor in his radio interview – marijuana and rent regulations. The Governor continues to say that he wants to see something done this year on marijuana legalization and said that he is supportive of new legislation that has been introduced in the Assembly. The Governor also continued his drumbeat of support for measures that would better protect renters from being taken advantage of by landlords. Specifics on both of these issues still need to be worked out, though having the Governor’s support certainly makes passage more likely.
Less high profile issues that were also mentioned during the interview were allowing illegal immigrants to obtain drivers licenses, strengthening sexual harassment laws and passing an equal rights amendment to the State constitution.
NYS Restaurant Association Testifies in Opposition to Paid Leave Law
On Tuesday, the NYC Council held a hearing on the proposed paid personal time mandate. At the beginning of the hearing, Council Members Gjonaj and Ulrich both spoke out against this proposal because of the damage it would do to small businesses. They acknowledged the already difficult atmosphere in which small businesses operate, and Council Member Ulrich suggested that if the Mayor truly believes it is a priority he is more than welcome to pay for the cost of the additional paid time off.
NYSRA NYC Government Affairs Coordinator, Kathleen Reilly, testified against this proposal and cautioned against its unintended consequences. Central to NYSRA’s testimony were the issues of cost and the extreme scheduling burden that this proposal would create. We were also joined by NYSRA member, Mary Ann Giannone from Paulie Gee’s, who shared her perspective as a business operator. She stated that businesses do not open to lose money, and business owners will be forced to make difficult decisions to raise costs and/or cut jobs, all of which will impact everyday New Yorkers. Several business colleagues also testified against this measure.
The Association has also joined with a number of other business groups in a coalition that opposes this mandate. The coalition was featured in a story from
Crain's NY Business
that enumerated our many issues with the legislation. We will continue to keep you aware of any developments on this legislation, and to work on your behalf to try to prevent it from passing.