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Senate & Assembly One-House Budget Recap: What’s Out

This week, the New York State Senate and Assembly released their one-house budget proposals for the 2022-23 New York State Budget.

Here is a recap of some of the important things that were excluded from the Governor's original proposal.

This does not include all budget items, just the ones we felt were most important to our members:

Increase to the CHIPS Bidding Threshold (TED, Part B) - Rejected by both houses

The Governor’s proposal increases the current threshold for utilizing in-house forces from $350,000 to $750,000 in completing street or highway projects.

Solar and Wind Valuation Program Amendments (REV, Part AA) – Senate Rejects, Assembly modifies

The Governor’s proposal clarifies how a property owner of a renewable energy system, with a nameplate capacity of 1 megawatt or more, can contest an assessment of the property by the local taxing jurisdiction. The State requires very specific valuation models be applied to these type of energy systems, and local assessors have no capacity to make judgments. This proposal provides that local assessors can only be asked to review the information they provide to the valuation. The property owner must specifically identify errors in the input by the local assessors. Grievances can be filed with the Board of Assessment Review. All other actions must be taken up in an Article 78 proceeding against the Tax Department.

Authorize DASNY for the New York State Downtown Revitalization Initiative Program (TED, Part GG) – Accepted by Assembly, Rejected by Senate

The Governor’s proposal authorizes DASNY to finance and construct facilities within New York’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative.

Electronic Bid Submissions for Thruway Authority Contracts (TED, Part F) - Rejected by both houses

The Governor’s proposal clarifies that sealed proposals submitted by a bidder include electronically secure proposal submissions and allows for the electronically submitted bids to be electronically posted for public view.

Increase the Threshold for Thruway Authority Procurement Contracts (TED, Part G) -  Rejected by both houses

The Governor’s proposal changes the value of a “procurement contract” from $15,000 to $50,000.

Increase Criminal Penalties for Wage Theft (ELFA, Part W) - Rejected by both houses

The Governor’s proposal amends the Labor Law to increase criminal penalties for employers who knowingly engage in wage theft. The severity of the criminal penalty would correspond to the specified amounts of wage theft per employee.

Increase MTA Design-Build Threshold (TED, Part H) – Senate accepts, Assembly rejects

The Governor’s proposal increases the threshold for mandatory use of design-build contracting for MTA projects from $25 million to $200 million for new construction or $400 million for rehabilitation or replacement of existing assets.

MTA Procurement Reform (TED, Part I) – Rejected by both houses

The Governor’s proposal:

  • Allows MTA and NYC Transit Authority (NYCTA) to increase the threshold for discretionary procurements to Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses (SDVOBs) and small businesses from $1 million to $1.5 million
  • Allows MTA and NYCTA to shorten the time between advertisements for bids and the bid due date from 15 days to 10 days (except public works contracts)
  • Permits MTA and NYCTA to use existing government agency contracts
  • Allows MTA and NYCTA to review its Qualified Products List once per year

Increase to the Maximum Grant Award under the Airport Improvement and Revitalization Program (TED, Part C) - Rejected by both houses

The Governor’s proposal increases the maximum grant award under the Airport Improvement and Revitalization Program from $2.5 million to $5 million

Authorizes Entry to Lands Adjacent to State Highways for Safety Purposes (TED, Part D) - Rejected by both houses

The Governor’s proposal allows DOT to authorize entry onto lands adjacent to a state highway on a temporary basis to perform emergency repairs as a result of storm damage or retaining wall or drainage structure failure.

Authorizes NYPA Captive Insurance (TED, Part ZZ) – Rejected by both houses

The Governor’s proposal authorizes NYPA to create a captive insurance company to manage risks that are not insurable on the commercial market or are cost prohibitive to do so.

Require S-Corporation Conformity with Federal Return (REV, Part R) – Rejected by both houses

The Governor’s proposal amends the tax law to provide that all federal subchapter S corporations are treated as subchapter S corporations in New York State tax law.

NYPA Broadband Technology and Infrastructure (TED, Part FFF) – Rejected by both houses

The Governor’s proposal allows NYPA to lease or dispose of broadband technologies or infrastructure to other instrumentalities of the state in an effort to help with broadband buildout.

Facilitate the Conversion of Hotel and Commercial Space into Residential Housing (ELFA, Part DD) – Rejected by both houses

The Governor’s proposal authorizes Class B hotels in or near a residentially-zoned district in New York City to convert their units into permanent residences without the need to change their certificates of occupancy, and authorize certain commercial office buildings in New York City to be converted into Class A multiple dwellings.  According to the Governor, the converted units would need to be under a regulatory agreement with the Department of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) or another agency, and the residential units in hotels would be subject to Rent Stabilization.

Encourage Transit-Oriented Development of Housing (ELFA, Part EE) – Rejected by both houses

The Governor’s proposal prohibits cities, towns, and villages from taking action that prohibits housing with density of at least 25 units per acre on any land where residential construction and occupation is already permitted, or effectively prohibiting such housing through excessive restrictions on height, setbacks, floor-area ratio, and other requirements.  According to the Governor, these provisions would apply to any city, town, or village with residential zoning within a half-mile of a bus transportation center or Metro-North, Long Island Railroad, Port Authority, or New Jersey Transit station within 60 miles of New York City.

Amend New York City's Floor-Area Ratio Limit on Residential Density (ELFA, Part CC) – Rejected by both houses

The Governor’s proposal amends the current limit on the maximum density of residential floor area ratio (FAR) in New York City at 12.0 and provides the City the autonomy to allow for denser residential development where appropriate, and allowing for the creation of more dwelling units.

MTA Utility Relocation (TED, Part K) – Rejected by both houses

The Governor’s proposal adds a new subdivision to §1266 of the Public Authorities Law to require utility companies and the city of New York to relocate or reinforce pipes, mains, conduit, and other infrastructure for any project in connection with the improvement, construction, reconstruction or rehabilitation of a transportation facility or a transit facility. The required work has to be performed within specific timeframes as decided by the MTA in consultation with the utility. MTA designs are required to be reviewed and approval by the utility cannot be unreasonably withheld. The proposal also provides that utilities cannot require betterments or any work beyond what is required to meet current standards.

The prior Executive Budget included a similar, though more robust, proposal. Last year’s Executive Budget included language requiring utilities to bear the costs incurred by the MTA for any design or construction work they performed. The legislature rejected the prior year’s proposal.