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BNP Advocacy Insider – April 2021

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Kristine Bieniek

April 8, 2021


NYS Budget Finalized

State lawmakers and Governor Cuomo have agreed to a new state budget for FY 2022.  Highlights of the $212 billion spending plan include significant tax increases, the legalization of mobile sports wagering, relief for small businesses harmed by COVID-19, a fund for cash payments to undocumented immigrants who were ineligible for unemployment insurance, low-cost internet for low-income residents, significant funding increases for both schools and road and bridge improvements.

The Governor entered budget negotiations weakened as he battles mounting calls for his resignation.  As a result, the Legislature outright rejected some of the Governor’s proposals in his budget plan and the final agreement reflects several of the Legislature’s priorities.

The budget includes several BNP’s advocacy priorities, but its tax increases on some residents and employers is short sighted and unnecessary at a time when New York was handed billions of dollars by the federal government.  These tax increases will prove completely counterproductive as the state looks to recovery economically from COVID-19 and will only cement New York’s well-earned reputation as a highly taxed and uncompetitive place to live and operate a business.

For a full breakdown of what employers should know about the new state budget, visit HERE.

Capital Conversation: U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

Friday, April 16 | 1:30-2:30 PM

As New York’s junior Senator, Kirsten Gillibrand will provide BNP members with an update on how the American Rescue Plan will impact WNY, share her legislative priorities now that Democrats control both Congress and the White House, and detail her role in addressing key issues critical to Buffalo Niagara’s economy.  REGISTER HERE.

State Legalizes Adult-Use Recreational Marijuana 

Governor Cuomo signed legislation permitting the use of recreational marijuana for New Yorkers over age 21. The law allows employers to enforce drug-free workplace policies by treating cannabis like other legal intoxicants such as alcohol. Tax revenue from marijuana sales will be directed to education, drug treatment programs, and grants to historically disadvantaged communities.  

BNP will continue to help its members navigate the implications of this new law. To learn more, go HERE 

American Jobs Plan 

President Biden has released the American Jobs Plan, a sweeping infrastructure package that will kick off a long debate with Congress. The plan would create jobs, invest in the American workforce, and provide funding for many capital priorities in the Buffalo Niagara region. The plan would be financed through significant tax increases on businesses. 

To learn what is in the President’s plan, go HERE.

Legislation to Watch: 

Recycling Bill Would Add Untold Costs to Businesses (NYS) 

The BNP opposesthe recently introduced Extended Producer Responsibility Act (S.1185) which would shift responsibility for the recycling of packaging (carton, glass, metal), paper and plastic products from municipalities to producers and manufacturers at an untold cost.  

Learn more and join the opposition HERE.  

“PRO” Act Threatens Businesses Across the Country (Federal) 

The BNP opposes the federal Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act (HR 842). The bill would add protections against employer retaliation to organizing, mandate employees pay union dues, override state-level Right-to-Work laws, and limit independent contractor designations for gig workers. It undermines the collective bargaining process and secret ballot elections, as well as denying employers any role in union elections.  

Learn more and join the opposition HERE.   

Opposition to Duplicative Airborne Infectious Disease Prevention Mandate (NYS) 

The BNP opposes a proposal (S.1034/A.2681seeking to enact duplicative and time-consuming regulations on businesses that will last long after the pandemic ends and allow punitive damages against employers already complying with ever-changing state and federal COVID-19 safety protocols.  This bill has already passed the NYS Senate and is moving in the NYS Assembly. 

Learn more and join the opposition HERE. 

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