Legislative and Regulatory Counceling
Report From The Hill
Senator Griffo has introduced a check-off proposal, S8711, for heating oil modeled on the propane industry’s Empire PERC bill. NYPGA’s bill met with persistent opposition from assembly staff that one year tried unsuccessfully to amend it beyond any useful purpose and original intent. We abandoned further pursuit when the federal check-off fee was increased allowing additional funds to accomplish the state PERC’s goals.
The heating oil bill fee proposal has a cap of 2/10ths of-a-cent per gallon and in most respects follows Empire PERC closely. No assembly companion has been introduced yet. We will monitor and keep you posted. [See two other intros below]
THE NEW YORK STATE OF HYPOCRISY
Former NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman became so on Monday evening, May 7, when he resigned after 4 women leveled accusations of his sexual misconduct , including violence, in private, personal relations. The A.G. had been in high dungeon over what he called a mishandled investigation by NY County DA, Cyrus Vance, who appeared to have given a pass to Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Now Governor Cuomo, over the objections of Mr. Vance, has appointed an asst. AG to investigate Schneiderman. Mr. Vance wanted to but he has, in the view of the governor, an insurmountable conflict of interest.
Mr. Schneiderman is known for his crusading investigations of any and all suspected miscreants, looking on occasion, including this year, at the propane industry for price gouging. He looked again in 2014 when shortages caused prices to rise. After a few headlines and a chat with NYPGA his deputies became persuaded that product shortages from reconfiguration of the pipeline system to move product from shale production to the Gulf Coast to meet export demand, could have been alleviated had the Watkins Glen permit, under review since 2009, been approved. The expanded storage would have closely matched the increase from the previous year of 80 million gallons exported. The asst. AG’s with whom we conversed made no offer to look into he permit delay.
In this political year a reasonable expectation might hold that election of a republican to the AG office is possible since sex scandals usually work against the incumbent but this is NY, a liberal state with a two-to-one enrollment edge for democrats. That will dampen the outrage usually gathered around and spewed at conservative transgressors. This is an election year when the republicans may lose the state senate but scandals of the democrat shade will not likely aide republicans.
By now New Yorker voters, who do not turn out in droves – not including of course the well organized public sector unions who terrorized Governor Cuomo in a primary vote 4 years ago when one, Zypher Teachout, received 30% – are by now inured to sex scandals and corruption. Such scandals usually result in all stages and players going dark until the dust settles when progressives and Hollywood can again be outraged without looking like complete fools.
Spitzer, Wiener, Silver and numerous other state legislators have either gone to jail, are on trial, have embarrassed themselves, humiliated their families – all on our dime whilst they collect pensions. Mr. Silver was convicted earlier today after a second trial. Mr. Schneiderman will be replaced by vote of a joint session of the NY legislature as provided by law. The new AG will be a democrat since the assembly is overwhelmingly democrat (112 dems. out of 150 seats) and the senate has but 32 republican seats.
Back to legislation.
A10608 prohibits the use of any condemned infrastructure associated with offshore drilling. The sponsors are mostly Long Island reps whose constituents are exquisitely sensitive to off shore drilling impacts.
And back to sexual harassment.
S8426/A10557 ordains that no lobbyist shall engage in sexual harassment while lobbying. In the legislature there is a long line ahead of lobbyists ready to so engage staff.
A suggested syllogism:
I want to pass a bill, so I harass you and get you angry;
I want to stop a bill, so I harass you and get you angry;
I have no control over your employment so I harass you;
Ergo: I harass you. No, I have to be stopped from harassing you. No, I have to undergo sexual harassment sensitivity training so I wont engage in something which imperils my goal.
If that is illogical consider this: the bill was introduced almost at the same time as Schneirderman’s resignation; before, after, with knowledge or ignorant of. Is that an unfortunate confluence of events or deliberate as in ‘a good defense is the best offense,’ or is it the other way round? Or is it to remind people that sexual hijinks are rampant amongst the political class?
THE BILL INTRODUCTIONS
S8711 GRIFFO No Same as
Add Art 14 §§14-101 – 14-109, Energy L
Implements the New York oil heat education and safety act; authorizes the creation of certain oil heat education programs; requires the creation of a New York oil heat education and safety council; enumerates the duties and purposes of the New York oil heat education and safety council.
A10608 Englebright (MS) No Same as
ENGLEBRIGHT, D’URSO, PELLEGRINO, THIELE, STERN, JEAN-PIERRE, LAVINE, RAMOS, GLICK, CYMBROWITZ, COLTON, LIFTON, ABINANTI, FAHY, SIMON, SANTABARBARA, ZEBROWSKI, SKOUFIS, JAFFEE, RYAN, O’DONNELL, TITONE, WOERNER, CARROLL, RAIA, MURRAY; M-S: Bronson, De La Rosa, Gunther, Solages
Amd §23-1101, add §23-1105, En Con L; amd §§80, 83 & 89, Transp Corps L; amd §§70 & 174, Nav L
Prohibits the use of condemnation of lands for the use of corporations to install infrastructure associated with the production of oil and natural gas in the North Atlantic Planning Area and prohibits vessels from using New York waters if associated with the production of oil and natural gas in the North Atlantic Planning Area.
S8426 BOYLE Same as A 10557 Paulin
Amd §§1-c, 1-o & 1-r, rel §§1-u & 1-v to be §§1-w & 1-x, add §§1-u & 1-v, Leg L
Establishes that no lobbyist shall commit an act of sexual harassment while engaging in lobbying or lobbying activities.