SEVERAL BILLS OF GENERAL INTEREST AND TWO OF PARTICULAR CONCERN AT VARIOUS STAGES IN THE PROCESS.
A1451A (Santabarbara) is on 3rd reading and eligible for a vote this week. Last week it was “laid aside” effectively putting off the vote for a week or more. In response to the push by the sponsor, a revised Memo-In-Opposition was circulated including the AG’s consent decree (settlement) generated by the initial incident, plus a propane company contract that clearly states tanks are not to be emptied or filled without permission of the tank owner. An interrogatory for use in floor debate was prepared and offered to the floor managers.
S5171 (Palumbo)/A5807 (Thiele) would provide a credit to homeowners who remove/abandon a fuel oil tank AND replace it ONLY with another fuel oil tank, all in pursuit of a clean environment. A Memo-In-Opposition was filed because the credit would not be available if switching to another fuel or power source. Long Island Propane Gas Assn members have been alerted and asked to contact Senator Palumbo and Assm. Thiele -both Suffolk County – in their district offices to protest the discriminatory nature of the bill. That discussion must take place face-to-face. The state capitol buildings are still closed to lobbyists who can exercise first amendment rights to petition government for redress of grievance (lobbying) only by memo or phone!
Report from the Hill
On Tuesday, March 23, 2021, the assembly began to gather information for use in the possible impeachment of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. The first step is an interview by the Assembly Judiciary committee of a law firm hired by the assembly to assess which of his actions may constitute impeachable offenses, convincingly enough to move forward with a full “trial.” The report of the panel is an opportunity for all parties to escape having to deal with a situation that could affect the future of several marginal seats, or that may move the matter closer to impeachment with some assurances of success. Speaker Heastie is proceeding cautiously though his majority is not at risk but surely an aspect that will be evaluated for any political ramifications. And unlike many, he did not rush to judgement calling for the governor to resign. Though few “Watergate babies” are still in office the assembly democrat majority ensued after the impeachment of President Nixon. Given population changes, party enrollment and dominance of the public sector, the probability of a republican take-over is highly unlikely.
The governor’s two main transgressions involve sexual harassment charges, the now preferred means of character assassination and perhaps not provable, and the governor’s cloaking of pandemic statistics on the true number of deaths at nursing homes. It will be determined if these are crimes of political malfeasance, merely operational incompetence or criminal acts. If the final charges are not serious breaches of law the governor is not likely to cave but come out swinging at legislators who have proposed staggering increases in taxes. Since his fiscal record is credible, the moral high ground is his to take on a free-spending legislators looking to double dip on revenues from the feds and tax increases, and in the process may chasten a few newly elected democrats from Long Island and the Hudson Valley, and get even with other enemies using the power all governors possess. There are some indications the process will be long, into the summer possibly, and test the patience and will of all parties.
NYA00862Establishes the clean fuel standard of 2021; such standard is intended to reduce carbon intensity from the on-road transportation sector by 20% by 2030, with further reductions to be implemented based upon advances in technology. Print number 862a
NYA04595Imposes additional tax on certain business income and on business income included in an individual’s New York taxable income. Referred to ways and means,
NYA04604Imposes a progressive income tax structure for high income taxpayers.referred to ways and means.
A05215Relates to the imposition of tax on certain financial transactions. Referred to ways and means.
A06331Establishes the teachers’ fossil fuel divestment act; requires the New York state teachers’ retirement system to divest the retirement system of any stocks, securities, equities, assets, or other obligations of corporations or companies included on an exclusion list of coal producers and oil and gas producers. Referred to governmental employees.