August 23, 2011

 

 

Dear Friends:

 

 

As BALCONY continues the fight for fair legislation in the future, this report features two articles analyzing the present impact of the recent debt deal on New York State and the Nation.  As the nation's focus this fall turns to job creation, we offer the BUILD ACT sponsored by a bi-partisan coalition led by Senators John Kerry, Kaye Bailey Hutchinson, and John Warner. The health care battle continues:  The Health Exchange Bill is pending, as the US Department of Health and Human Services issues regulations.   

 

Freelancers will soon be granted the same benefits as traditional workers, and the NYSUT celebrated a small victory in the battle for equitable methods for education reform, as the state announced it will use the NYSUT's rubric in their evaluation of teachers.  

 

BALCONY endorses the new Power Bill legislation as a means of bringing more power to New York.   Finally, BALCONY hails the passage of the James Zadroga Act on the 10th Anniversary of 911. 

 

 

 

 

This BALCONY Report Has the Following Articles:

 

Issues and Policies Affecting
THE FUTURE of New York:  

 

 

 

DEBT CEILING DEAL COULD HIT NYS VERY HARD: U.S. FUNDS MAKE UP 37% OF NYS REVENUE

 

 

DEAL AVOIDS DEFAULT BUT SETS NATION ON DISTURBING POLICY COURSE

 

 

SENATORS KERRY, HUTCHINSON & WARNER URGE INFRASTRUCTURE BANK CREATES JOBS 

 

  

NEW YORK'S HIGHEST COURT TO DECIDE KEY MARTIN ACT ISSUE   

  

 

BI-PARTISAN LEGISLATION TO REFORM THE MARTIN ACT 

       

   

BALCONY ENDORSES NYS INSURANCE EXCHANGE BILL BUT STILL WAITING FOR NYS SENATE ACTION

 

 

BALCONY ENDORSES THE PASSAGE OF THE FREELANCER PAYMENT PROTECTION ACT

 

 

NYSUT HAILS THE STATE'S APPROVAL OF NYSUT'S TEACHER EVALUATION RUBRIC

 

 

BALCONY ENDORSES THE NEW POWER BILL LEGISLATION AS AN INVESTMENT TO CREATE MORE POWER IN NEW YORK   

 

 

JAMES ZADROGA ACT PROTECTS 9/11 FIRST RESPONDERS  

  

AN INSPIRATIONAL COLLECTION OF LETTERS FROM FAMILY MEMBERS
TO LOVED ONES WHO PERISHED ON 9/11 


 

 

 

 

UPCOMING EVENTS AND FORUMS 

INCLUDING BALCONY'S OCT. 12, 2011 GOLF OUTING

HONORING NYS COMPTROLLER TOM DINAPOLI,  

CLICK HERE:  EVENTS 

 

 

 

 

 

ISSUES and POLICIES AFFECTING
the FUTURE of NEW YORK

 

DEBT CEILING DEAL COULD HIT NYS VERY HARD:

U.S. FUNDS MAKE UP 37% OF NYS REVENUE

 

FPI

 

 

by Frank Mauro, Executive Director, Fiscal Policy Institute 

 

 The debt ceiling deal adopted today by the US Senate averted what could have been an epic disaster, but it sets into motion a process that is virtually certain to hit state and local government budgets very hard.  This process will be intense and it will require all who are concerned with the stability and adequacy of state and local public services to become even more engaged in the federal budget and policy processes than they have been in recent years.

   

On average, it is estimated that federal funds account for about one-third of state budgets.  For New York State, over the course of the last decade, that share has ranged from a low of 30.2% in 2007-08 and a high of 38.2% in 2002-03. During the most recently completed state fiscal year, which ended on March 31, 2011, federal funds accounted for 37% of New York's state government revenues.  A table with this data for the period from 1999-2000 through 2010-2011 is attached.

 

Besides representing a significant share of state budgets, another important characteristic of federal aid to the states involves the fact that this aid has increased as a share of state budgets in bad times and decreased as a share of state budgets in good times. (See the attached graph)  This is due in part to the way in which many federal safety net programs work but it is also a tribute to the work that led to the enactment of important "state fiscal relief" packages in 2003 and 2009.  The "automatic stabilizer" aspect of the American federal system is not as strong as it used to be.  It was greatly diminished, for example, by the conversion of Aid to Families With Dependent Children (AFDC) to a block grant (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or TANF).  And it would be undercut much more if any of the balanced budget amendments and/or spending cap proposals that are currently being debated at the federal level are adopted.   

 

Federal Grants 

(click the image or here for an enlargement of the chart) 

 

 

 

Click here for Federal Aid Trends  

 

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~   

 


 DEAL AVOIDS DEFAULT BUT SETS NATION ON DISTURBING POLICY COURSE


By Robert Greenstein, President, CBPP


CBPP

The new debt ceiling agreement will achieve the essential goal of avoiding a potentially catastrophic default in the days ahead. But to say that the deal is likely to lead to highly unbalanced results would be an understatement. The deal places the nation on a disturbing policy course and sets what may become important precedents that are cause for serious concern.

 

Click here to read the full article:  CBPP

 

 

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~   

    

U.S. Chamber, AFL-CIO Urge INFRASTRUCTURE BANK

Bi-Partisan Kerry, Hutchison, Warner BUILD Act Creates Jobs, Strengthens Competitiveness

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.), Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), Ranking Member of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, and Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), Member of the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, announced legislation to create an infrastructure bank that would help close America's widening infrastructure funding gap, create millions of American jobs in the next decade, and make the United States more competitive in the 21st century. 

 

U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, who also attended the event, underscored the unique coalition of business and labor uniting around this initiative.

 

Read the entire press release: BANK  

 


~ ~ ~ ~ ~

  

 

NEW YORK'S HIGHEST COURT TO DECIDE KEY MARTIN ACT ISSUE

 

 

Milberg 

 

New York's Martin Act permits the Attorney General to prosecute fraud and deception in connection with the sale of stocks and other securities. New York's Court of Appeals (the state's highest court) has ruled that the Attorney General is the only person who may sue under the Martin Act. Thus, investors may not bring suits for Martin Act violations. 

 

Click here to read the entire article:  MARTIN ACT 

 

   

 

 

BI-PARTISAN LEGISLATION TO REFORM THE MARTIN ACT

 

Bill to Bring Accountability To Wall Street

 

The Institutional Investor Recovery ActA.6060/S.4497, sponsored by Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D-Queens) and Senate Deputy Majority Leader Tom Libous (R-Binghamton), reforms the Martin Act to allow pension funds to bring actions for damages resulting from violations of the state's securities laws.  The legislation has been widely covered as an antidote to the complete failure to hold Wall Street accountable for the financial meltdown of 2008 (the issue was laid out by Assemblyman Lancman in a Bloomberg News Op-Ed, Wall Street's Sheriff Needs Many More Deputies).

 

A wide array of organizations are supporting the legislation, including New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, New York City Comptroller John C. Liu, BALCONY, and the New York State AFL-CIO.  

 

"It's been nearly three years after Wall Street sent us into the greatest recession since the great depression, and almost none of the wrongdoers have been held accountable or any victims made whole," said Assemblyman Lancman "New York needs to give its investors the means to recover some of the tens of billions of dollars loss caused by these financial shenanigans."

 

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~     

 

  

BALCONY ENDORSES NYS INSURANCE EXCHANGE BILL BUT STILL WAITING FOR NYS SENATE ACTION

   

On June 23, 2011, the Assembly passed the Governor's Program Bill, which would create the New York Health Benefit Exchange, a public benefit corporation that will serve as a marketplace for the purchase and sale of qualified health plans in the State of New York.

 

Federal Health Care Reform Q&A  

 

The Bill is awaiting action in the State Senate.

 

  

BALCONY Director Lou Gordon endorses the creation of Health Exchanges, stating, "Our BALCONY members owners of small businesses, labor unions and advocacy groups have long been in favor of providing health insurance and care to their employees and members.  In a BALCONY survey more than 80% of small business owners in New York State indicated that they would offer health insurance to their employees if they could. New York's small businesses need to help their workers stay healthy and the insurance exchanges will provide cost conscious health insurance policies."

 

On July 11th, the Department of Health and Human Services proposed a set of regulations for the new Affordable Insurance Exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act.  According to the proposal, each state will determine how its exchange is set up.  However, all plans must be approved by Health and Human Services before being implemented.  Not included in the released proposal are the actual federal requirements for exchanges or how the federal government will maintain the exchanges, raising concerns about how these exchanges will manage costs.

 

HHS Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Proposed Rules  

 

 

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~




NYSUT HAILS THE STATE'S APPROVAL OF NYSUT'S TEACHER EVALUATION RUBRIC

July 19, 2011  

 

NYSUT 

   

New York State United Teachers welcomed the State Education Department's inclusion of a NYSUT Innovation Initiative model in its list of approved rubrics for the new teacher evaluation system. The rubric was designed by teams of teachers and administrators working in collaboration.  Districts and their local unions from across the state will choose a rubric from that list in developing their system of evaluating teachers.

   

"Once again, collaboration among stakeholders and an emphasis on the excellent work of practitioners results in the highest standards that will ultimately lead to student success," said NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi.

 

 

Innovative Initiative Rubic

~ ~ ~ ~ ~



BALCONY ENDORSES THE PASSING OF THE FREELANCER PAYMENT PROTECTION ACT

 

The Freelancer Payment Protection Act, which passed the New York State Assembly on June 20, championed by BALCONY coalition members,The Freelancers Union, will require the Department of Labor to protect independent contractors from nonpayment the same way it protects traditional employees. In 2009, unpaid wages cost New York freelancers $4.7 billion according to the Freelancers Union.

   

The Freelancers Union issued the following remarks in response:  "After months of reaching out to legislators about the Freelancer Payment Protection Act (S4129/A6698) through in-district meetings, a lobby day in Albany, and hundreds of calls and emails, the New York State Assembly passed our bill! This is a historic victory for freelancers and something that all involved members should be proud of." 

 

 

Freelancers Union Blog

Sara Horowitz,
Founder & CEO Freelancers Union

 

 

"Protecting Freelancers and assuring payment for work performed is an important protection for the thousands of New York's freelance workers. Many of these folks perform valuable work in good faith for companies, unions, non-profits, and small businesses. Their invoices should be paid in a timely manner and not be withheld unreasonably," stated Lou Gordon, BALCONY director. "We urge passage of this bill by the New York State Legislature!" 

 

The Senate version of the bill, sponsored by

Daniel Squadron, D-Brooklyn; Marty Golden, R-Brooklyn; and Andrew Lanza, R-Staten Island, is scheduled to be presented this Fall.

 

View the FPPA bill  

 

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 



BALCONY ENDORSES THE NEW POWER BILL LEGISLATION AS AN INVESTMENT TO CREATE MORE POWER IN NEW YORK

 

 

The Power NY Act of 2011 will encourage investment in clean power plants, afford communities more opportunities to meaningfully participate in the siting process, and expand opportunities for homeowners and businesses to invest in energy efficiency under the "Green Jobs/Green New York" program.

 

An Investment to Create More Power in New York. 

 

 

 

 Area Alliance

 

 

On the passage of The Power NY Act on June 24 BALCONY coalition member

Arthur Kremer, Chairman of NY AREA stated, "A new power plant siting law has been New York AREA's top legislative priority since 2003 when we were founded.  It will effectively streamline the siting process to bring new sources of power that will attract billions of investment dollars to New York State.   

 

http://www.area-alliance.org/index.htm 

 

 

NY Electric

 

 

"It's going to advance the cause of energy efficiency by making it easier for people to finance energy retrofits to their homes, whether it's their windows or caulking or insulation," said Dan Hendricks, spokesman for New York League of Conservation Voters.

   

The legislation is also tied to a new provision in the state's Green Jobs program that would allow homeowners to finance energy improvements to their homes through their local utility bill.

 

 

 

 

 

PSA

L - R: Lou Gordon, Jim Simpson, Bruce Ventimiglia, Josť Torres, Sigourney Weaver

 

JAMES ZADROGA ACT PROTECTS 9/11 FIRST RESPONDERS  

 

By Nicholas Kapustinsky 

 

It took nearly ten years and the sustained effort, spirit, and sacrifice of one of the broadest coalitions in New York's history and on December 22, 2010 the hard work paid off as the U.S. Congress finally passed the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. The bill provides desperately needed medical monitoring, treatment, and compensation to 9/11 first responders, lower Manhattan area residents, workers, volunteers, and students who were exposed to the toxins at Ground Zero on 9/11 and in the aftermath. The bill provides $4.3 billion funding for health and compensation over five years. 

 

Read the full article:  Zadroga

 

Tuesday's Children

 

 

The LEGACY LETTERS ARE RELEASED:

 

An Inspirational Collection of Letters from 

Family Members to Loved Ones

Who Perished on 9/11

 

With the 10th anniversary of September 11th approaching, Tuesday's Children, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving 9/11 families, has compiled a deeply compelling collection of letters by 9/11 relatives written to their lost loved ones.

  

All proceeds support Tuesday's Children's programs and services for 9/11 Families.

 

For details, please click here:  Letters   

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 events                

EVENTS

 

 

 

The 9-11 Health Watch Benefit

 


is a fundraiser to assist in the formation of an independent "Watch Group" to insure implementaiton of the 9-11 Health & Compensation Act, to make sure that responders and survivors are properly cared for and to lay the ground work and build support for an extension of the Act in five years.

We are pleased to announce that four-time Grammy winner, legendary singer and songwriter, Carol King, will perform at this special benefit.

Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011 -- 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

 

UFT - 52 Broadway, NYC

Health Watch

 


Read the flyer:  9-11 Health Watch



                 "Protecting Worker and Community Health:

Are We Prepared for the Next 9/11?"

 

NYCOSH Conference - September 16th, 2011

 

NYCOSH 

  

The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) with support from a group of labor unions, healthcare facilities, environmental organizations and Manhattan Community Board 1 will sponsor an all day conference on September 16th, 2011 entitled "Protecting Worker and Community Health: Are We Prepared for the Next 9/11?"

 

For more information: NYCOSH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chamber

 

 

Business Expo Fair

 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

 

Celebrating Entrepreneurship & Hispanic History Month

 

This year, the NYC Hispanic Chamber, BALCONY, and the Greater NY Chamber will team up with Wells Fargo Bank to showcase 200 exhibitors, relevant seminars, our Hispanic Business Partners and an alliance of federal, state, and city agencies as well as business assistance groups, leading chambers, civic groups and businesses. This Fair is known for helping all businesses (from start-ups to major corporations) grow and create jobs!

 

Click here for details:EXPO 

 

 

 

Golf Outing 2011

BALCONY 2011
GOLF OUTING

OCTOBER 12, 2011

 

New York Country Club
103 Brick Church Road

New Hempstead, NY 10977
(Rockland County, NY)
 

 

 

 

 

For more information, click the picture or contact

     

angela.severiano@balconynewyork.com 

or call:  (212) 219-7777 

 

 

 

 

DEMOS   American Prospect Magazine   FPI



American Rights At Work   American Cancer Society


Freelancer's Union    New York Area Alliance

 

 

 

BALCONY MEMBER DIRECTORY


 

 
click the map above to view the
MEMBER DIRECTORY E-BOOK


 

BALCONY New York
4 West 43rd Street, Suite 405
New York, NY 10036
(212) 219-7777

Lou Gordon, Director
loug@balconynewyork.com

 


BALCONY, THE BUSINESS AND LABOR COALITION OF NEW YORK

Bruce Ventimiglia, Co-Chairman; Saratoga Capital Management
Alan Lubin, Co-chairman
Dr. James Melius, Executive Board; LECET
Stephen Madarasz, CSEA
Lou Gordon, BALCONY Director
Angela Severiano, BALCONY
Diane Masters, BALCONY
Kevin R. Weaver, BALCONY



BALCONY is a 501c(4) non-profit. Contributions are not tax deductible and BALCONY makes no political endorsements nor campaign contributions.