Legislative Alert – 6/4/2012

President’s Message

The New York State AFL-CIO has long supported the Empire Film Tax Credit, which has drawn countless movies, television and other productions to New York State.  This has created well over 280,000 jobs since 2004, has been responsible for increasing wages and salaries of existing jobs, and has helped to grow local economies all over the state.

Within the industry itself, there are good paying, unionized jobs with pension and health insurance, but the credit does not only attract artists, producers and directors who come in just for the duration of the production. 

The credit creates jobs for building-trades workers, stagehands, union members who set up the lighting and all the other electrical equipment, sound and video technicians who specialize in their various arts, and Teamsters who deliver the materials in and out of the studios.

To continue growing this vital boon to the state‘s economy we must now expand the program to attract every component of the industry. While the current tax credits offered by the State and City of New York have attracted an enormous amount of film and television production, the New York production tax credits do not provide any incentive to hire New York writers or post production work and editing.

In addition to creating jobs, editors and writers will attract more of the industry here and help ensure permanency of the entertainment industry in New York.

 Mario Cilento, President

Call to Action

Monday, June 4, 2012
1:00 p.m.
State Fed Headquarters, Albany

Issue of the Week

The New York State AFL-CIO
A. 9372 Abbate/S. 6584 McDonald

This bill which would extend, until April 1, 2014, an exemption in the Public Officers Law to allow state employees who lose their job as a result of a layoff to appear before their former agency in a professional capacity.

When an employee leaves state service, he or she is barred for two years from working for an employer that does business with his or her former agency.  The rationale behind this provision is to prevent an employee from making decisions as an employee of the state that could result in personal gain when they leave state employment.  

However, in cases of layoff due to facility closures, reductions in force, or other economic causes, there is little to no chance that any ethical concerns exist.  As a result, during times of economic distress, the state has created and on multiple occasions extended an exemption so that the two year ethics bar does not apply to employees who lose their jobs as a result of the economy.

When an employee loses his or her job through no fault of his or her own, the state’s goal should be to facilitate reemployment, not create additional hurdles.  Layoffs should be a seldom used last resort, but if they do occur, impacted workers should not be penalized for something they had no control over.

Keep an Eye On

Wednesday, June 6. 2012- NYS AFL-CIO Infrastructure Task Force Meeting, 12:00 Noon, NYS AFL-CIO headquarters, 100 South Swan Street, Albany.