VOICE OF 2020 ADVOCACY RESOURCE GUIDE
Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce is a trusted voice, partner, advocate, connector, supporter, and leader for all things business in the Finger Lakes Region and New York State.
Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce passionately serves, promotes, and advocates for its members in order to secure economic prosperity for our Finger Lakes Region.
the role of public p o l i c y & a dvo c ac y
To advance policies and positions that contribute to a positive economic climate and member success.
to o u r g r e at e r rochester chamber of commerce members Last year the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce overhauled the way we advocate for you and the Finger Lakes region. We engaged directly with elected leaders, built coalitions around critical issues, offered regular legislative updates to members and partners, and streamlined our communication with you. This pocket resource should serve as your personal advocacy assistant, listing contact information for government officials, our advocacy priorities for the year, and key information on other services provided by Greater Rochester Chamberâ€™s team. During the 2019 legislative session we successfully advocated for a permanent property tax cap and legislation to reduce regulatory burdens on small business; we successfully fought against harmful expansions to prevailing wage and predictive scheduling; and we raised the bar in how we advocate on your behalf. In the session ahead we are laser focused on promoting additional positive and lasting change for the region. We will continue to be on the forefront of policies relating to economic and workforce development, tax/mandate relief, education, transportation, infrastructure, and health care. Each day our staff is connecting with leaders at every level of government to ensure your voices are heard and our priorities are reinforced. For questions regarding our advocacy or to discuss public policy issues, please contact me at RDuffy@GreaterRochesterChamber.com or Marc Cohen at Marc.Cohen@GreaterRochesterChamber.com We look forward to partnering with you to ensure Rochester and the Finger Lakes region continue to grow and succeed!
robert j. duffy President & CEO
robert s. sands Board Chair
Rochester Chamber does not advocate by use of press conferences or destructive criticism. Instead, we rely on meaningful relationships with decision makers and constructively work toward results.
2020 Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce Advocacy Agenda • Support for Upstate New York • Tax / Mandate Relief • Workforce Development • Economic Development • Transportation / Infrastructure • Health Care • Workers’ Compensation
Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce Public Policy and Advocacy Committees • Rochester Chamber Advocacy Committee • The Committee for a Strong Economy-PAC • Rochester Chamber Health Care Planning Team • Rochester Chamber Workers’ Compensation Committee • Advocacy Coalition of Rochester Area Chambers
Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce serves the Finger Lakes Region
Greater Rochester Legislative Directory
Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce Education Committee • Rochester City School District
Join the conversation and get timely legislative updates at www.GreaterRochesterChamber.com
g r e at e r r o c h e s t e r chamber of commerce a dvovac y ag e n da Support for Upstate New York With the changing landscape in Albany, ensuring Upstate receives the attention and resources we need will be a top priority for Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce. To that end, Greater Rochester Chamber: • Is committed to ensuring the voice of upstate is heard at decision-making tables • Will continue collaborating with regional chambers of commerce and trade organizations
Tax / Mandate Relief New York State is seen as uncompetitive for business because of comparatively high taxes and mandates. Certain reforms have been implemented to ease the burden, but there is much more to be done. Greater Rochester Chamber: • Supports the 2% spending cap • Supports Governor Cuomo’s proposed tax rate decrease on small businesses • Supports Governor Cuomo’s proposed increase in allowable deductions provided to small businesses and farms • Supports reforming current regulations which impose undue burdens on job creating, economy boosting business • Supports a common-sense phase in of environmental sustainability efforts while ensuring the interest of small business is kept at the forefront of dialogue and debate • Supports bringing parity to wine, spirits, and cider in regards to the New York production tax credit • Supports efforts to lessen the burdensome taxes on the cider/wine/craft beer industry • Supports policies which aim to stop and prevent abuse to employees by employers • Opposes efforts to mandate rigid paid sick leave requirements • Opposes vague language in new employer mandates which makes employers vulnerable to burdensome and unfair legal liability
Workforce Development Among the most pressing issues facing our businesses is having a pipeline of qualified, skilled workers to fill jobs. Funding for education, improved coordination, and targeted investment in talent management will be invaluable toward making progress. Greater Rochester Chamber is proud to be the regional lead for this effort. Greater Rochester Chamber: • Supports Governor Cuomo’s additional $220 million investment for the New York Works Economic Development Fund • Supports funding the Chamber of Commerce On-the-Job Training Program • Supports Governor Cuomo’s Workforce Development Initiative and will continue collaboration with the Director of Workforce Development • Supports initiatives related to employing people with disabilities throughout the region in collaboration with ROC EmployABILITY and other partners • Supports efforts that create greater alignment between job creators and job seekers • Supports additional investment for TAP, Bundy Aid, and STEAM funding • Supports additional base aid funding for Community Colleges • Supports further investment in P-TECH • Allow students on high school registers, in P-TECH, or other dual enrollment schools to be eligible for TAP so the tuition cost would be reduced • Supports the Finger Lakes region as a beta test site for new workforce development projects • Will continue our work to increase collaboration with regional colleges and universities to help foster communication between employers and talent • Will work to reduce silos which cause redundancies and inefficiencies in putting people to work • Supports Professional Licensing for Immigrants • Will work to increase young professional engagement • Supports anti-poverty initiatives in the region
Economic Development Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce’s mission is to promote economic prosperity throughout the Finger Lakes region. We will continue to promote increased collaboration among government entities and support streamlined processes to make the region more competitive. Greater Rochester Chamber: • Supports the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Priorities a. Optics, Photonics, and Imaging b. Agriculture and Food Production c. ROC The Riverway • Support reinvestment for the 10th round of the REDC Initiative • Support reinvestment for the 5th round of the DRI • Supports additional funding for the Centers for Advanced Technology and Centers of Excellence • Supports the growth, creation, and promotion of MWBE’s • Opposes harmful expansion of prevailing wage policies to private construction projects • Supports plans to expand the electric vehicle industry
Transportation / Infrastructure Growing the Finger Lakes region’s economy requires investment in transportation, energy, technology, and infrastructure. Greater Rochester Chamber: • Support efforts to expand reliable cellular service throughout all of New York State • Supports investment in funding of public transit programs which support job growth • Encourages funding for regional chambers/organizations to establish transportation networks • Supports investment in operating support, capital assistance, and surface transportation design/repair in Upstate • Supports a reform the Scaffold Law by replacing absolute liability with a comparative negligence standard – the same standards used in every state except New York (NY’s general liability insurance costs are highest in the nation) • Supports policies that encourage network infrastructure investment to enhance speed, connectivity, and customer experience • Supports investment in renewable energy and efficiencies in moving energy resources to NYS
Health Care Greater Rochester Chamber fully supports ensuring workers have access to high quality, affordable healthcare. Simply replacing our current Health Care system with a state-run system is unrealistic. Rochester Chamber will continue working to promote health and safety throughout the city and region. Greater Rochester Chamber: • Supports reducing the taxes, surcharges, and assessments imposed on employers and individuals who purchase health insurance (including the premium tax and HCRA) • Supports efforts to prevent opioid and prescription drug abuse • Opposes measures that increase the cost of health insurance for employers and workers
Workers’ Compensation The 2017 session saw much needed reforms in workers’ compensation policy. There is still more work to be done in our state, in which costs remain among the highest in the nation. Greater Rochester Chamber: • Supports full implementation of improved policy passed in 2017 • Will discourage rollbacks of previously enacted reforms which have proven to support business
l e g i s l at i v e c a l e n da r JANUARY - JUNE 2020 January S
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January 8 & 9 • 2020 Legislative Session convenes January 20 • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day January 21 • Final Day of submission of Executive Budget February 17 • Presidents’ Day April 1 • Beginning of new fiscal year May 25 • Memorial Day
Indicates Session Day
g r e at e r r o c h e s t e r chamber of commerce public policy & a dvo c ac y c o m m i t t e e s Greater Rochester Chamber Advocacy Committee Co-Chair: Julie Camardo, Zweigle’s Co-Chair: Brian Hickey, M&T Bank The mission of the Greater Rochester Chamber Board of Directors Advocacy Committee is to discuss relevant public policy issues, and recommend policy positions and actions to the Board of Directors for ratification. A full listing of board members and companies can be found at www.GreaterRochesterChamber.com.
The Committee for a Strong Economy–PAC Chair: Tim Mason, Mason Marketing The Committee for a Strong Economy is the Political Action Committee (PAC) for Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce. Comprised of representatives from member organizations, the Committee for a Strong Economy conducts an intensive interview process each year that results in endorsement of candidates in both local and state races, identifying candidates who are dedicated to the economic well-being of our community. The organizations represented on the Committee for a Strong Economy include: • All-American Home Care • Gerard D. DiMarco, Esq. • LaBella Associates, P.C. • Mason Marketing LLC • RocCity Coalition • Rogers Enterprises/Dock Hardware • Small Business Council of Rochester • Women’s Council of Rochester • Zweigle’s Inc.
Greater Rochester Chamber Health Care Planning Team This multi-stakeholder group weighs in on important health care issues impacting employers, employees, and the broader community.
Greater Rochester Chamber Workers’ Compensation Committee Co-Chair: Jim Tacci, MD, JD, URMC Co-Chair: Brian Trick, Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. This group of knowledgeable industry professionals advocates for fair and equitable workers’ compensation practices, limiting abuse of the system. The committee hosts educational sessions for members, NYS legislators, and the Workers’ Compensation Board on behalf of business interests. For more information on the workers’ comp committee, please visit: www.GreaterRochesterChamber.com
Advocacy Coalition of Rochester Area Chambers Started by Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce in 2019, the Advocacy Coalition of Rochester Area Chambers (ACRAC) is a group of chamber executives from throughout the Finger Lakes region committed to helping our collective members grow through collaborating on legislative advocacy.
This event series connects members to elected officials and representatives at the federal, state, and local levels to focus on how government action impacts the upstate New York employer community. Receptions highlight contemporary local venues and feature complimentary beverages and refreshments, while allowing members to engage with key leaders, providing networking opportunities and information on the latest developments of interest to employers. This series is generously sponsored by AT&T, Charter Communications, Delta Airlines, and RG&E. Join us! To learn more, please visit our Events page at www.GreaterRochesterChamber.com
g r e at e r r o c h e s t e r chamber of commerce serves the nine-county finger lakes region of n e w yo r k s tat e Orleans Monroe
Genesee Ontario Seneca Wyoming
We’re your one-stop connection to critical, yet affordable, business services. As a Rochester Chamber member, you have access to the expertise and people you need to succeed: • Advocacy • Networking • Training • Human Resources Services • Staffing • Background Screening • Insurance • Advertising Opportunities
Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce Officers Robert S. Sands Chairman of the Board Constellation Brands John M. Pitton Vice Chairman Bank of America Brian G. Flanagan 2nd Vice Chairman, Secretary/Treasurer Nixon Peabody
g r e at e r r o c h e s t e r l e g i s l at i v e d i r e c to r y Federal Officials U.S. SENATOR CHARLES SCHUMER (D - Senate Minority Leader) 322 Hart Senate Bldg. | Washington, DC 20510 202.224.6542 | | www.schumer.senate.gov | @SenSchumer U.S. SENATOR KIRSTEN E. GILLIBRAND (D) 478 Russell Senate Bldg. | Washington, DC 20510 202.224.4451 | www.gillibrand.senate.gov | @SenGillibrand CONGRESSMAN JOSEPH MORELLE (D) 25th Congressional District 1317 Longworth HOB | Washington, DC 20515 202.225.3615 | www.morelle.house.gov | @RepJoeMorelle CONGRESSMAN TOM REED II (R) | 23rd Congressional District 2437 Rayburn HOB | Washington, DC 20515 202.225.3161 | www.reed.house.gov | @RepTomReed CONGRESSMAN JOHN KATKO (R) | 24th Congressional District 2437 Rayburn HOB | Washington, DC 20515 202.225.3701 | www.katko.house.gov | @RepJohnKatko
New York State Officials GOVERNOR ANDREW M. CUOMO (D) State Capitol | Albany, NY 12224 518.474.8390 | www.governor.ny.gov | @NYGovCuomo ATTORNEY GENERAL LETITIA JAMES State Capitol | Albany, NY 12224 518.474.7330 | www.ag.ny.gov | @NewYorkStateAG COMPTROLLER THOMAS P. DINAPOLI 110 State Street | Albany, NY 12236 518.474.4044 | www.osc.state.ny.us | @NYSComptroller
New York State Senate PAMELA HELMING (R) | 54th Senate District Albany Office | LOB 517 | Albany, NY 12247 518.455.2366 | email@example.com | @SenatorHelming RICH FUNKE (R) | 55th Senate District Albany Office | LOB 415 | Albany, NY 12247 518.455.2215 | firstname.lastname@example.org | @SenatorFunke JOSEPH E. ROBACH (R) | 56th Senate District Albany Office | LOB 711 | Albany, NY 12247 518.455.2909 | email@example.com | @SenatorRobach PATRICK M. GALLIVAN (R) | 59th Senate District Albany Office | LOB 512 | Albany, NY 12247 518.455.3471 | firstname.lastname@example.org | @Senatorgallivan MICHAEL RANZENHOFER (R) | 61st Senate District Albany Office | LOB 513 | Albany, NY 12247 518.455.3161 | email@example.com ROBERT ORTT (R) | 62nd Senate District Albany Office | LOB 617 | Albany, NY 12247 518.455.2024 | firstname.lastname@example.org | @SenatorOrtt
New York State Assembly HARRY B. BRONSON (D) | 138th Assembly District Albany Office | LOB 824 | Albany, NY 12248 518.455.4527 | email@example.com | @HarryBBronson DAVID F. GANTT (D) | 137th Assembly District Albany Office | LOB 704 | Albany, NY 12248 518.455.5606 | GanttD@nyassembly.gov JAMIE ROMEO (D) | 136th Assembly District Albany Office | LOB 429 | Albany, NY 12248 518.455.5373 | firstname.lastname@example.org | @RomeohRomeo BRIAN MANKTELOW (R) | 130th Assembly District Albany Office | LOB 629 | Albany, NY 12248 518.455.5655 | @BrianManktelow BRIAN M. KOLB (R) | 131st Assembly District Albany Office | LOB 725 | Albany, NY 12248 518.455.3979 | email@example.com PHILIP PALMESANO (R) | 132nd Assembly District Albany Office | LOB 320 | Albany, NY 12248 518.455.5791 | firstname.lastname@example.org MARJORIE BYRNES (R) | 133rd Assembly District Albany Office | LOB 723 | Albany, NY 12248 518.455.5662 | email@example.com | @Byrnes4Assembly PETER LAWRENCE (R) | 134th Assembly District Albany Office | LOB 722 | Albany, NY 12248 518.455.4664 | firstname.lastname@example.org | @PLawrence134th MARK JOHNS (R) | 135th Assembly District Albany Office | LOB 549 | Albany, NY 12248 518.455.5784 | email@example.com | @MarkJohns_135th STEVEN HAWLEY (R) | 139th Assembly District Albany Office | LOB 521 | Albany, NY 12248 518.455.5811 | HawleyS@nyassembly.gov | SteveHawley139
g r e at e r r o c h e s t e r chamber of commerce e d u c at i o n c o m m i t t e e Greater Rochesterâ€™s most vital natural resource is its children. The Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce Education Committee is committed to cultivating the promise of our children. Our Education Committee works to help shape education policy, as well as engage in workbased learning, and provide job opportunities for our communityâ€™s youth.
Rochester City School District Poverty, incarceration, and the struggling economic health of the region are all impacted by the poor performance of RCSD. Decades of substandard graduation rates, large numbers of graduates who leave underprepared for college and career, and overall poor educational outcomes of RCSD adversely affect our young people and community as a whole. Greater Rochester Chamber and the business community must lead efforts with local and state elected officials, the state education department, and other relevant stakeholders to instill widespread system reforms.
Constituent Support We are there for our members on matters that require support and assistance. We aid in company-specific legislative, regulatory, and funding issues at the regional, state, and federal levels including: • Permits / variances • Government agency disputes • Immigration / visas • Legislation In addition to the aforementioned priorities, Greater Rochester Chamber will be actively monitoring issues relevant to employers, employees, and the greater region. We encourage you to reach out with any business or industry specific matter for which you would like guidance. Please contact Marc Cohen at Marc.Cohen@GreaterRochesterChamber.com with any such topics.