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CCE IN THE NEWS

Source: Long Island Business News

LI nonprofits go to Albany

BY JOHN CALLEGARI

Posted: February 11, 2011
Originally Published: February 8, 2011

A coalition of 45 participants representing 40 local advocacy groups piled onto a bus Tuesday morning en route to the state’s capital.

Their mission: Speak to elected officials at the state level about the issues they feel are most important to Long Islanders.

This is the third year the group, made up of representatives from organizations such as Vision Long Island, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, the Long Island Federation of Labor, the Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce, and several others, has headed to Albany in what has become known as “Long Island Lobby Day.”

The coalition held a press conference at 11 a.m. to announce the issues they plan to raise - including transportation, energy and environment, economic development, and sewer and infrastructure initiatives - before meeting with all nine state senators from Long Island, 10 local assembly members and members of the governor’s staff.

There are several initiatives tied to each issue the coalition plans to raise, and representatives have devised several ideas of their own to solve local problems.

For instance, to ease traffic and the state’s budgetary woes, coalition members have suggested changing the HOV lanes on the Long Island Expressway to High Occupancy Toll lanes, where single-occupant vehicles would be allowed to use HOV lanes, but would be charged a toll to do so.

As for environmental and energy initiatives, the coalition plans to push for offshore wind farms in the Atlantic Ocean, 13 miles off the Rockaway peninsula. Coalition members argue that such an idea could generate up to 700 megawatts of power, which could be tapped into by LIPA, Con Ed and NYPA to effectively reduce energy rates and create clean, renewable energy.

The coalition is also pushing for small business job creation tax credits, where businesses would receive a $2,500 tax credit for the creation of each new job created by businesses with under 50 employees.

These initiatives will be relayed to Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, R-Rockville Centre and Minority Leader John Sampson, D-Brooklyn. While the coalition will meet with 10 assembly members, Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, will not be one of them.

A similar meeting is planned for March headed by the Long Island Association. Roughly 20 local business leaders will join President Kevin Law and other LIA members as they speak with Gov. Andrew Cuomo about ways to improve economic development and job creation on Long Island.