Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New & Notes from NYS Senator Joe Addabbo - 15th District


NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., (D-Queens) is pleased to announce that he is a co-sponsor of legislation (S.5587) introduced in the Senate by Senator James Alesi (R-Rochester) that would amend the state’s tax law to authorize the state to license six certified capital companies to raise $150 million in private venture capital from insurance companies in order to assist New York businesses that require funds not available from traditional commercial banks through all stages of development: pre-startup, start-up, expansion, or survival. In exchange for investing in qualified businesses, the insurance companies would get premium tax credits, with such issuance to be delayed four years. While the economic benefits of the program begin almost immediately, the delayed tax credits would have no fiscal impact to New York State until 2015.

In order to qualify for the tax credits, each certified capital company mustsatisfy a number of requirements in its investment portfolio, including:
  • Two-thirds of its investment of certified capital must go towards qualified businesses located in under-served areas.
  • Ten percent of its investment must be directed towards qualified seed funds, certified as such by the Superintendent of Financial Services.
  • Fifty percent of its investments must go towards businesses focused on emerging technology products and services.
  • No more than $15 million can be invested towards one individual company.

In addition, a certified capital company under CAPCO-6 would be required to return 15 percent of its net profits on qualified investments to the Department of Financial Services. This legislation also adds to the reporting requirements already present in previous CAPCO programs to ensure compliance with the requirements set forth above.
New York State last renewed its CAPCO program in 2005. The NY CAPCO was created by the Assembly over a decade ago to utilize a premium tax credit incentive to increase investment in venture capital funds focused exclusively on New York businesses. New York insurance companies can earn tax credits by making investments in small companies that have difficulty accessing traditional funding sources. Since 1998, five CAPCO programs have been certified. Through these five programs, $400 million of private capital has been raised, and the investment from these funds has created or retained over 2,000 jobs and will generate $412 million in tax revenue by 2016. Says Addabbo, “It’s a win-win for both small business owners and investors. Our current economic climate makes getting risk capital for small businesses extremely challenging. As elected officials, we must make every effort to help our small businesses.”
The bill has been sent for review to the Senate’s Committee on Investigations and Government Operations. After passage and signature by the Governor, the bill would take effect immediately.
NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., announced that the Senate has passed a bill (S.3205) that would amend the penal law in order to establish the new criminal offenses of home invasion robbery, which takes place when a robbery occurs, and offenders threaten physical force.
The bill elevates the crime of robbery if the robbery occurs in someone's home, and
1) a person is guilty of home invasion robbery in the 2nd degree (a class C felony) and is aided by another perpetrator; and
2) a person is guilty of home invasion robbery in the 1st degree (a class B felony) when he or she, in the course of such a robbery: a) causes physical injury upon an occupant of the home; b) is armed with a deadly weapon; c) uses or threatens to use a dangerous instrument; or d) displays or appears to display an actual firearm capable of producing death or serious injury.
Explains Addabbo, "Incidents of home invasion robbery have been increasing in New York State and could happen in any community. They are not to be mistaken for burglaries, which usually occur when the homeowner is away. Home invasion robberies feature confronting homeowners as key elements of the perpetrator’s attacks, directly with force, false pretense or impersonation, then restrain the victims to steal the home's contents. This kind of crime needs an increased penalty and enforcement to assist in ensuring the safety of our residents."
This bill is currently being reviewed in the Codes Committee.

NYS Senator Joseph Addabbo, Jr., (D-Queens) released the following statement on the ethics reform bill passed yesterday:

The Public Integrity Reform Act of 2011 is a step in the right direction for ethics reform in Albany and towards restoring faith and public trust in our government. After advocating for ethics and campaign reform ever since I was elected to the Senate, I believe this is a good initial bill, but I know we can do more in the state legislature. Since the ethics issue is one that has traditionally plagued our state government, I will continue to promote the need for improved campaign finance reform and independent redistricting to create a more transparent and equitable government for the people of this state.

This ethics reform bill only allows for penalizing the state pensions for future elected officials convicted of crimes related to their government role. This bill should have included current elected officials in this category.

Did the desperate need for ethics reform set the standard so low that any bill, no matter how mediocre, would have been an improvement? Only time will tell with the implementation of the this Public Integrity Reform Act of 2011.