WHITE PLAINS, NY (February 27, 2014) – Pension reform, unfunded mandates and costly state regulations were on the agenda as a delegation from The Business Council of Westchester traveled to Albany this week for their Annual Lobbying Day event.
In presenting state legislators with their 2014 Legislative Agenda, The BCW urged lawmakers to seriously address spiraling costs such as pensions and healthcare while relieving burdensome regulations such as the Scaffold law, an issue The BCW has taken a leading role in reforming. The Business Council is also a supporter of implementing Common Core academic standards.
During their visit, members of The BCW met with key state leaders including State Education Commissioner Dr. John B. King, Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins of Yonkers, Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos of Rockville Center and members of the local delegation.
“These reforms would go a long way to improving the business climate in New York State,” said BCW President and CEO Marsha Gordon who was joined by BCW Executive Vice President John Ravitz and other BCW members for the Albany trip. “It’s gratifying that so many of our members dedicated an entire day to travel to Albany to be heard on these important issues.”
The 2014 Legislative Agenda is detailed in a 20-page book that will also be sent to elected officials on the local, state and federal levels throughout Westchester County. The agenda includes a series of reforms and law changes that range from reforming construction rules and arbitration awards to establishing minimum healthcare contributions for employees and retirees and ceasing any new state mandates. They include:
· Reforming the pension system to a defined benefit retirement plan that enables local governments and school districts to better manage pension obligations.
· Redefine arbitration so that the state considers the financial capacity of local taxpayers when compulsory arbitration awards are issued.
· Repeal Wicks Law and Reform Public Construction Act and Scaffold Law so that the cost of construction, liabilities and new development is reduced.
· Establish minimum health care contributions for state employees and retirees.
· Prohibit new mandates on municipalities, school district and taxpayers.
· Reforming State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) process to provide predictable, workable time frames for the approval of new investment projects
For more information, call John Ravitz at 914-948-2110. To read this year’s Legislative Agenda, visit westchesterny.org
About The Business Council of Westchester
The county’s largest and most influential business membership organization, The Business Council of Westchester is committed to helping businesses market, learn, advocate and grow. In addition, The Business Council of Westchester is actively involved in reviewing federal, state and county legislation and regulations in order to assess the potential impact on the business community and to influence the outcomes through advocacy when the business community’s interests may be affected. It also acts as an information resource for the business community and government leaders at all levels.