As we work our way through the closing days of the 2012 session, it is unquestionably more subdued than what we saw in the halls of the Capitol last year. There are still plenty of bills that we are monitoring closely and anything can happen in these closing hours, but it is highly unlikely that we will see any craziness.
What this really means is that there is plenty of news, but little in terms of small business. In fact, perhaps the only item of public interest from yesterday was news that the state and trade unions settled on a project labor agreement for the construction of the new Tappan Zee Bridge.
The lack of news in some ways is positive because it means the legislature, so far, is avoiding doing anything bad for small business. However, there are some good pieces of legislation that have either not been acted on or have only passed one house. For example, the Assembly has yet to show any interest in passing the simple reform to the Wage Theft Prevention Act that the Senate passed months ago. This is disappointing because small business owners have been living on the edge for quite some time now and things have clearly stalled on the “open New York for business” train.
Speaker Silver again stated that minimum wage was not going to be discussed before lawmakers leave town, but I have been in Albany too long to spike the ball on this issue. That said, there are still some independent contractor, healthcare/workers compensation mandates and prevailing wage expansion bills that are still alive, and all of which NFIB/NY opposes.