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Author: The BCW

Legislative Agenda Calls for Fewer Mandates, Creativity to Support State’s Economy

The Business Council of Westchester released its 2024 Legislative Agenda and called on state lawmakers to embrace policies that support a sustainable economy and job creation.

The BCW produces the Annual Legislative Agenda each year for federal, state and local representatives on behalf of the business community. Among the recommendations in its 44-page report, the BCW urges lawmakers to:

  • Avoid new regulations, mandates and fees that will cause businesses additional hardships.
  • Award full gaming and sports betting licenses to Empire City Casino.
  • Adopt the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act.
  • Sunset the Covid-19 Sick Leave mandate.

“Each year, legislative bills that are passed or not passed in local, state and federal legislatures have a powerful impact on the Westchester business community’s ability to serve its stakeholders. Business leaders, whether they represent large, medium or small-sized communities, owe it to themselves, their employees and their shareholders (if they work for a publicly traded company) to offer their opinion and expertise on important policy issues,” said John Ravitz, Executive Vice President and COO of the Business Council of Westchester. “We urge our elected officials to adopt sound policies that lead to sustainable economic growth that will, in turn, create much-needed jobs in all business sectors.”

On the state level, the BCW urges legislators to reduce spending and adopt tax-reform policies to help small businesses expand and create jobs. The BCW asks lawmakers to:

  • Reject legislation that would ban all non-compete agreements because many Westchester County employers rely on such agreements to protect their intellectual property, proprietary information and client relationships.
  • Reject antitrust legislation that would make significant amendments to the General Business Law’s provisions regarding illegal monopolies. The vague provisions of this bill would allow enforcement and penalties against conduct that is clearly pro-competitive.
  • Lower Unemployment Insurance (UI) taxes. Replenishing the UI Trust Fund should not fall to New York employers for policies mandated by state government.
  • Reform the state environmental quality review (SEQR) process by amending or eliminating regulations that cause unnecessary construction delays.
  • Reinforce the power grid by supporting natural gas projects until the state completes its green-energy transition. The BCW will take a deep dive on the state’s energy transition during its Annual Energy Conference on March 1 at the Sonesta Hotel in White Plains.
  • Adopt the Universal Child Care Act with the needed funding, which is imperative for employees to ensure that their children are in safe, licensed child care facilities.

Among other issues, the Legislative Agenda outlines the BCW’s positions on education, higher education, healthcare and transportation. Ravitz also noted that artificial intelligence’s transformative potential aligns with the BCW’s commitment to technological innovation.

“The BCW appreciates the important attention that state and federal governments are giving to the emergence of AI. It is important to note that the BCW has launched a year-long series entitled ‘AI Alliance 360,’ which is devoted to helping the business community prepare for the opportunities that await in this latest technical evolution,” said Ravitz.

Every elected official in Westchester County and all statewide elected officials will receive the Legislative Agenda. To download a copy of the BCW’s 2021 Legislative Agenda, visit www.thebcw.org.

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