2014 Winter Legislative Meeting Tentative Agenda


5:00 p.m. -- Opening General Session

•  Update on State Budget and Legislation
•  Review of NYCOM's Legislative Program
•  Open Discussion of Your Priorities
Speakers: Mayor Richard J. Donovan, NYCOM President, Village of Minoa; Peter A. Baynes, NYCOM Executive Director; and Barbara J. VanEpps, NYCOM Deputy Director

6:00 p.m.  -- Reception -- Sponsored by the New York Municipal Insurance Reciprocal (NYMIR)

7:00 p.m. -- Dinner -- Speaker: Casey Seiler, Capitol Bureau Chief, Albany Times Union

Before arriving in Albany in 2000, Seiler worked at the Burlington Free Press in Vermont and the Jackson Hole Guide in Wyoming. A graduate of Northwestern University, Seiler is a Buffalo native who grew up in Louisville, Ky. In addition to his coverage of state government, he writes an entertaining weekly column in the Sunday Times Union.


8:30 a.m. -- Tax Caps, Cuts and Freezes -- Impact on Local Governments

In the past several years, the Governor and State Legislature have enacted a series of tax-related measures -- including the property tax cap and START-UP NY. Several more were proposed in the Executive Budget, including a property tax "freeze," circuit breaker and renters tax credit, as well as the reform of various business taxes. Our three speakers -- who are highly regarded State Capitol observers that understand tax policy and how it relates to local governments and economic development -- will help you understand the interplay between these proposals and, more importantly, how they may impact your communities.
Speakers:  E.J. McMahon, Empire Center for NYS Policy; Brian Sampson, Unshackle Upstate; and Elizabeth Lynam, Citizens Budget Commission

9:30 a..m. -- Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman

10:00 a.m. -- Legislative Perspective

•  Senator Jack Martins
•  Assemblyman John T. McDonald III

10:30 a.m. -- Break

11:00 a.m. -- Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli

11:45 a.m. -- Lunch


The Foreclosure Crisis and Its Impact: Dealing with Vacant and Abaonded Property
This session will provide an overview of the dimensions of the foreclosure crisis, present information about direct assistance to homeowners, and look at legislative reforms that could give government officials better tools to enhance property maintenance and deal with vacant and abandoned properties.

Flood Insurance Reform: What It Means to You
The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 was meant to make flood insurance rates more realistic and more stable. Under this Act, the Federal Government is required to raise rates to reflect the real risk and costs of flooding – while also reducing the Federal subsidy. This has had a dramatic effect on many homeowners – who can no longer afford to stay in their homes – and, in turn, the communities in which they live. This session will address the Act itself, its potential impacts, the issuance of new flood maps, and steps you and your residents can take to alleviate the burden.

The State's Response to Fiscal Distress
As a result of the recent recession and the increasing costs of providing essential municipal services, local governments throughout the state are experiencing higher levels of fiscal distress. While the state has provided little in terms of additional aid or mandate relief, both the Executive and the State Comptroller have acknowledged the many challenges that municipalities face and have responded by developing tools intended to assist local officials in identifying the key sources of and potential solutions to fiscal stress. This session will cover two of these tools -- the Fiscal Stress Monitoring System and the Local Government Financial Restructuring Board – and how they could help you develop strategies and make changes to benefit your communities.

2:15 p.m. -- Break


Sustainable New York: An Update on New York's "Smart Growth" and "Complete Streets" Programs
In 2007, New York created the Smart Growth Cabinet, which consists of high-level policy-makers from various state agencies that have an impact on growth and development patterns. This Cabinet is committed to working with localities to use smart, sensible planning to create livable communities, protect our natural resources and promote economic growth. In 2010, New York furthered its focus on smart growth with the adoption of the Smart Growth Public Infrastructure Policy Act, which directs New York State agencies to screen their infrastructure programs and investments to ensure that they are not funding inefficient, redundant, and costly sprawl. In 2011, the Complete Streets Act was adopted and requires state, county and local agencies to consider the convenience and mobility of all users when developing transportation projects that receive state and federal funding. This session will provide an overview of these initiatives and how they can enhance and complement sustainability efforts at a local level.

Expired Union Contracts: Challenge or Opportunity?
Negotiating a new union contract when you are operating under an expired contract can present unique challenges. This interactive session, led by two veteran labor relations attorneys, will provide you with strategies and real-life examples on how best to negotiate a new contract. The presenters encourage attendees to come prepared to ask their most pressing contract negotiation questions.

Funding Opportunities for Local Governments
A variety of federal and state programs exist that can help cities and villages enhance their capital assets and improve their local economies. This session will feature representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, along with the State's Department of Environmental Conservation and the Environmental Facilities Corporation, who will discuss funding opportunities that can assist communities in revitalizing, expanding and upgrading their physical infrastructure, cleaning up brownfields, as well as in implementing long-term strategies to attract new industry and encourage business expansion. This session is sponsored by the Office of U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, in partnership with NYCOM.

6:00 - 7:30 p.m. -- NYCOM Legislative Reception

Evening -- Dinner on your own 


Last updated 2/7/14