As I said last week about the Partnership's advocacy efforts: "On with the show."
There still has been no solution in regards to control of the New York State Senate, and as a result nothing is getting done right now - good or bad. On our monthly conference call last Friday organized by the Business Council of New York State and including chambers of commerce from all over the state, many thought that inaction isn't necessarily a bad thing. In part, we share that perspective, given some of the things that word had it the Democratic Senate Majority was going to pass.
One of those issues that is of high priority to labor and other special interests in Albany is expansion of Paid Family Leave in New York State. We've dealt with this legislation in each of the past few years, but previously the Republican Senate Majority had stifled it. Before the "coup," there were definitive indications given - including a similar expansion of unemployment benefits that already passed - that expansion of Paid Family Leave was to become a reality by the end of session.
As I mentioned, regardless of what's going on in the Senate - we're pressing on. Here is our letter of opposition to Paid Family Leave legislation, a bill that flies in the face of any elected official who ever touted the importance of small business from a campaign podium. Remember, small businesses were already hammered earlier this year by the "Fair Share" tax included in the 09/10 state budget. Now, this legislation would encourage absenteeism among employees, leaving small business owners to figure out how to fill the gaps.
If you're a small business, you need to weigh in on this issue - particularly if you can offer some insight as to what this legislation would mean to your company. Direct contact with your state legislators (UB Regional Institute Address Analyzer) is best, but if you don't have the time (and believe me, we know that time is not always a luxury for small business owners), the Business Council has set up an e-advocacy effort to help you easily get involved. Don't wait until this legislation passes to raise your voice on it!