Legislative Update - November 2018
ACEC Legislative Update
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New York State

Electoral Recap The midterm elections held on November 6 had a significant effect on the composition of the State’s representation in Congress and the balance of power in the State Senate.

Federal: This election was marked with a greater number of competitive races than usual and offered some surprise outcomes. In the Staten Island-centered District 11, Max Rose (D) defeated incumbent Dan Donovan (R). Further up the Hudson valley in the sprawling District 19, the incumbent John Faso (R) was defeated by Antonio Delgado (D) in a race that had been characterized as a toss-up in numerous analyses leading up to election day. The race for the District 22 in the greater Utica area remains undecided. State Assembly member Anthony Brindisi holds 117,931 votes to incumbent Claudia Tenney’s 116,638 - a 1500 vote lead, with 13,200 absentee ballots remaining to be counted. In the race for the Buffalo-area 27th district, absentee ballots are being counted; incumbent Chris Collins (R) holds a 2900 vote lead over challenger Nate McMurray. Across the State a number of Republicans including John Katko, Lee Zeldin, and Pete King held on in close races. This election cycle was also notable for the primary upset of Representative Joe Crowley, the 4th highest ranking Democrat by 29-year old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who handily won the general election.

State: The largest electoral changes resulting from the 6th were on the State level, where control of the State Senate will shift from Republicans to Democrats come January’s inauguration. The new Session will see 40 Democrats (including Simcha Felder) and 23 Republicans. A total of 8 seats flipped party control, and an additional 7 seats flipped from IDC-aligned Democrats to mainline Democrats in September’s primaries. All seven of the primary winners were elected, for a total of 15 seats that previously were previously Republican-controlled or Republican-aligned changing hands. On long Island, Kevin Thomas (D) defeated 14-term incumbent Kemp Hannon (R), James Gaughran (D) defeated 11-term incumbent Carl Marcellino (R), Monica Martinez (D) defeated Assemblyman Dean Murray (R) for control of the seat held by Senator Tom Croci (R) and Anna Kaplan (D) defeated 1-term incumbent Elaine Phillips (R). In the Hudson Valley, Peter Harckham (D) defeated 2-term incumbent Terrance Murphy (R), James Skoufis (D) defeated Tom Basile (R) in in the seat previously held by Senator Bill Larkin (R), Jen Metzger (D) defeated Ann Rabbitt (R) in the seat formerly held by John Bonacic (R). Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D) who is expected to take the position of Majority Leader and President Pro Tem announced an intention to elevate ranking members of Senate committees to Chair status, but this will be closely monitored as Session approaches.

Statewide races posed fewer surprises, as incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo defeated Republican challenger Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro, Letitia James (D) defeated Keith Wofford (R) for Attorney General and Tom DiNapoli (D) defeated Jonathan Trichter (R) for Comptroller.

State Legislation: The Association continues its work to advance the legislative interests of the membership. Among these efforts is seeking the veto of harmful and misguided legislation, including A. 2022/S.383 a bill which would impose requirements on State Agencies to run cost-benefit analyses when procuring consultant work on projects over $750,000. ACEC New York has also begun to revisit prior legislative endeavors including indemnification reform efforts, ESOP ownership expansion, and qualifications-based selection expansion, by meeting with legislators and developing advocacy strategies for the coming two-year cycle.


Federal

2018 Federal PAC. ACEC New York has already raised $63,775 of our $85,000 goal - less than half of our goal remains! Thank you to our donors to date. Look for information on upcoming PAC fundraising events and visit the ACEC PAC webpage for more ways to give. For more information on donations, or to make a donation to the PAC, contact Campbell Wallace at campbell@acecny.org.


New York City

Metro Energy Codes Committee submits comments on draft Retrofit Bill. The City Council is planning to introduce a bill that would require thousands of existing buildings to undertake energy retrofits to limit energy use. In October, City Council bill-drafters sent ACEC New York a confidential draft bill to preview before it is publicly introduced. Our Metro Energy Codes Committee promptly submitted comments to City Council and will review the bill again when it is formally introduced.  

Metro Region Public Policy Committee. On November 7, The Public Policy Committee held its second meeting of the year. Meeting minutes are available on our website. They provide an update on Metro Region advocacy efforts regarding procurement reform, legislation, rulemakings and other issues important to our members.

Election Results: Voters Approve Ballot Proposal, and special election for Public Advocate is triggered. On November 6, City voters approved a ballot proposal to revise the City Charter to lower the amount a candidate for City office can accept from a contributor while increasing the amount of public funds available to candidates. Also, Letitia James was elected NYS Attorney General and will vacate the NYC Public Advocate’s (PA) office.  This will trigger a special election to fill the PA office in February or March. Meanwhile, a group of City Council members is planning to introduce a bill that would eliminate the PA’s office.