2017 Legislative Victories

Date: June 29, 2017

Defeated Significant Prevailing Wage Expansion

This legislation would subject all projects financed, in whole or in part, through certain public entities, to prevailing wage rates by dramatically redefining “public work”.  Current prevailing wage mandates increase construction costs by at least 13%-25%.  This bill would have both significantly increased those costs and impacted projects currently not subject to prevailing wage.

Successfully Opposed effort to enact “Single Payer” Health Care Program

This legislation proposed the financing of universal access to health care through a newly established New York Health Trust Fund. The fund would be supported by two new taxes:
(1) a graduated payroll tax (80% paid by employers; 20% paid by employees; and 100% paid by self-employed); and (2) non-payroll assessments on personal income greater than $25,000. This would amount to a graduated tax from 9 percent on incomes between $25,000 to $50,000 to a 16 percent tax on incomes over $250,000.

Defeated Proposal to Mandate Employers to Offer Retirement Plans

NFIB successfully defeated a proposal which would have required employers who do not offer a retirement plan to offer a state-sponsored plan. In 2016, NFIB/NY balloted its members, and over 85 percent of survey respondents opposed legislation requiring employers who do not offer a retirement plan to offer a state-sponsored plan.

Supported 2017 Workers’ Compensation Reform

NFIB made meaningful workers’ compensation reform a top priority for this legislative session, and hundreds of NFIB members took the time to contact lawmakers on the issue.  This reform package should save employers nearly $450 million over the next two years.  NFIB continues to work for more meaningful cost reductions in worker’s compensation.

Supported 2017 Regulatory Reform Package to Help Small Business

NFIB continues to work to ease regulatory burdens on small business.  Two bills were backed by NFIB and passed by the legislature.  One requires agencies proposing new rules impacting small businesses and local governments to give due consideration to the practical, legal, and economic or fiscal constraints that may affect their compliance. This bill will help reduce new regulatory barriers from being implemented. The other requires state agencies to prepare and coordinate outreach and information for small business when a new rule or regulation is implemented.

Additionally, NFIB defeated various legislation in 2017 which would have banned non-compete clauses between employers and employees, expanded whistleblower protections and numerous bills which would have dramatically increased liability on employers during the hiring process.

Other Recent NFIB/NY Victories

Supported Update of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law
NFIB supported a bill to encourage the production of locally manufactured
beverages, wine and spirits with the goal of promoting economic development and
creating jobs.

Supported Estate, Manufacturing and Corporate Tax Reform
NFIB supported reforms in the 2014-2015 budget to increase the estate tax
threshold to match the federal threshold over four years, eliminate taxes for
manufacturers and lower the corporate franchise tax.  

Opposed Job Order Contracting
NFIB successfully opposed legislation that would prohibit state and local
government entities from the practice of job order contracting (JOC), which
would lead to increased government efficiency, more contracting opportunities
for small business and savings for taxpayers. The bill passed both houses of
the legislature and was vetoed by the Governor.

Supported Implementation of Unemployment Insurance System Reforms
As part of the Workers Compensation and Unemployment Insurance system
reforms passed in 2013, NFIB/NY urged greater transparency and fairness for
employers. The Department of Labor and Department of Tax and Finance in 2014
created two handbooks for employers: 

Questions and Answers: Hearings Before Unemployment Insurance Administrative Law Judges 
Employer’s Guide to Unemployment Insurance, Wage Reporting and Withholding Tax.  

Supported a Cap on Agricultural Assessments
NFIB urged the adoption of legislation to cap agricultural assessment increases at 2% annually. This provides considerable relief from ever increasing property tax assessments on farms.

Supported Workers Compensation and Unemployment Insurance Systems Reforms
NFIB supported reforms that will reduce employers’ costs, increase equity and combat fraud. 

Supported Streamlining Agency Proceedings
NFIB successfully fought for a bill that allows small business owners to respond to some hearings and administrative proceedings on-line rather than in-person to minimize burdens. 

Opposed the Soda Ban 
NFIB filed an amicus brief in the lawsuit to overturn NYC’s ban on large sodas, and the state’s highest court agreed that the ban was an overreach of government.

Opposed the Styrofoam Ban
NFIB helped convince the NYC Council to adopt a recycling program rather than ban styrofoam containers, a measure that will save businesses money and protect thousands of manufacturing jobs. 

Opposed the MTA Payroll Tax
NFIB fought successfully to exempt almost 80% of employers from this unfair regional tax.

Supported Enactment of a Property Tax Cap
NFIB was instrumental in getting a property tax cap enacted in New York.

Opposed a Devastating Farm Labor Bill
NFIB fought a bill that would have resulted in higher labor costs for farms, including overtime pay, workers compensation costs and unionization of farm workers.

Supported Pension Reform to Provide Tax Relief 
NFIB successfully supported pension reform that will result in significant savings for taxpayers over time and will decrease the tax burden on business owners.

Stopped an Increase to Thruway Tolls
NFIB helped lead an effort to stop a 45% hike in its tracks, saving businesses and consumers billions of dollars.


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