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Governor Paterson Signs Three Bills to Advance Clean Energy Agenda and Forty-Five Other Bills into Law

Press Release

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Governor David A. Paterson announced today that he has signed into law three bills that were put forth by his Administration to advance the development of the clean energy economy. The bills expand the consumer appliances for which the Department of State has the authority to set energy efficiency standards; allow natural gas utilities to implement on-bill recovery programs for their customers that make energy efficiency investments; and expand the definition of alternate energy production facilities to include kinetic energy storage devices to facilitate their siting and support of utility-scale renewable energy projects.

"Advancement of the clean energy economy can help meet a number of my objectives, from creating new industries and jobs for New Yorkers, to improving energy efficiency and enhancing the energy security of the State," Governor Paterson said. "Passage of these three bills represents another step forward in development of the new economy. I commend the Legislature for working with me on these joint goals and passing these important pieces of clean energy legislation."

The appliance standards Governor's Program Bill No. 238 (S.8070 (Squadron) / A.10881 (Rosenthal)) authorizes the Secretary of State, in consultation with the President of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), to establish energy efficiency performance standards for portable light fixtures, bottle-type water dispensers, commercial hot food holding cabinets, portable electric spas and residential pool pumps. The impact of setting these energy standards will be a reduction in electricity consumption and furtherance of progress towards the State's '45 by 15' clean energy goal to have 45 percent of the State's electricity needs met with clean energy by 2015. Additionally, reductions in electricity consumption, such as improving the energy efficiency of consumer products, has been shown to put downward pressure on wholesale electricity rates and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.

The gas on-bill recovery Department of Public Service (DPS) departmental bill (S.3712 (Parker)/A.7736 (John)) will help encourage consumers to invest in energy efficiency measures by making it easy for consumers to repay loans associated with the installation of such measures. This bill will give gas utility companies the authorization to provide easy loan repayment by allowing their customers to repay the efficiency loan through their utility bill.

The energy storage DPS departmental bill (S.7145 (Aubertine)/A.10216 (Cahill)) adds kinetic energy storage devices (flywheels and compressed air storage) to the alternate energy production facility definition, thereby exempting those projects of less than 80 megawatts capacity from Public Service Commission jurisdiction. This will help to reduce the regulatory burden on these technologies which can allow for the utilization of renewable energy produced during off-peak times and can improve the efficiency of the State's electric system.

The following statements were provided in support of the Governor's clean energy agenda:

Senator Darrel Aubertine said: "As we continue working toward energy independence to ensure our power needs are met here in New York State long term, new technologies for energy storage must have the opportunity to grow. By reducing regulations on these growing industries such as flywheel and compressed air, we are giving our State the opportunity to create new jobs in a new economy and meet our needs. I want to thank the Governor for recognizing the value of this legislation and signing it into law."

Senator Kevin Parker said: "This legislation extends a right to natural gas customers they do not have under existing law, creating parity with electric service customers and encouraging energy efficiency investments. I am pleased the Governor has signed these clean energy bills into law, so that New York can continue to grow its green energy sector and reduce its carbon footprint, and create the Green Collar jobs that are New York's future."

Senator Daniel Squadron said: "Increasing the energy efficiency of consumer products is an easy and effective way to cut families' electricity bills and reduce greenhouse gases. The bill I sponsored, which sets energy efficiency standards for electricity-guzzling appliances, is a big win for wallets and the environment, and I thank Governor Paterson for signing it into law."

Assemblyman Kevin Cahill said: "Our future as a world economic leader, as the Empire State, depends on our embracing the development of a new energy economy. In New York, as we have so many times in the past, we have the ability to drive those innovations and create that economy right here at home. These bills represent a continuation of the great progress the Legislature, in partnership with Governor Paterson, has made in advancing policies that will lead our State to energy independence."

Assemblywoman Linda B. Rosenthal said: "In our efforts to achieve maximum energy efficiency and savings, we must be relentless in finding new opportunities to reduce consumption. I am proud to have passed legislation establishing new standards for commercial and consumer electronic devices and look forward to the savings New Yorkers will reap as a result of this bill. Some of these devices may be small, but our State's outsized influence on the United States market will drive nationwide trends."

In addition to the clean energy bills, the Governor signed the following bills into law:

A.6964/S.3359: Relates to unemployment benefits for innocent bystanders during industry controversy.

A.7662/ S.3258-A: Relates to the sale, delivery, dispensing and/or distribution of controlled substances.

A.7961/S.5963: Relates to the filing of a probation report for certain misdemeanor cases.

A.8462-A/S.3248-A: Establishes June second as Italian Independence Day, a day of commemoration.

A.8498-A/S.3255-A: Relates to persons who may register for the adoption information registry; repealer.

A.8952/S.5570-A: Relates to modifying child support orders, employer reporting of new hires and quarterly earnings, work experience programs and noncustodial earned income tax.

A.9047-A/S.5938-A: Provides authority for financing and construction of facilities for Mercy Flight, Inc., of Western New York.

A.9096/S.6646: Designates the Bushkill stream as an inland waterway.

A.9181/S.7933: Includes Cherry Grove fire district as among those districts that have elections on the second Tuesday in July.

A.9465-A/S.6688-A: Authorizes the dormitory authority to construct and finance certain facilities of the Trevor Day School.

A.9511-A/S.7404: Authorizes the Time Out Club Development Corporation to file an application for a real property tax exemption.

A.9512/S.7859: Renames the Seek Program as the Percy Ellis Sutton SEEK Program.

A9768/S.6677: Authorizes the town board of the town of Rockland, in the county of Sullivan, to diminish the area of the Roscoe sewer district.

A.9789/S.6706: Extends certain provisions of law relating to tuition waivers for police officer students of the City University of New York.
A.9810/S.6854: Relates to certain funds used by the center for advanced technology.

A.9825-A/S.6772-A: Requires the establishment of procedures or mechanisms to receive allegations of abuse or mistreatment of patients served by programs licensed or operated under the mental hygiene law; repealer.

A.9938A/S.7702-A: Relates to expanding the definition of sexual contact.

A.10118/S.7748-A: Amends chapter 219 of the laws of 2003 in relation to extending the provisions of such chapter

A.10551/S.7279: Relates to notice requirements pertaining to residential utility service to residential health care facilities

A.10771/S.7329: Protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination and provides equal opportunity to enjoy common portions of dwellings.

A.10772/S.7417: Authorizes persons who held temporary employment as certain members of the emergency veterinary corps to appear before a State agency.

A.10791/S.7253: Discontinues the requirement that certificates of incorporation be approved by the commissioner of mental retardation and developmental disabilities; repealer.

A.10853B/S.7931: Designating October eighteenth as Disabilities History Day.

A.11064/S.7816-A: Extends the effectiveness of chapter 618 of the laws of 1998.

A.11067/S.7819-A: Extends the effectiveness of chapter 552 of the laws of 1995.

A.11320/S.8164: Expands the definition of eligible applicant for the affordable home ownership development program.

S.1145-C/A.10108/A.8642-A: Requires a reduction in sulfur emissions for all heating oil used in non-attainment areas.

S.3780-B/A.8914-B: Relates to phosphorus in household cleansing products and lawn fertilizer.

S.5987-B/A.8681-B: Creates the Metropolitan Transit Authority Small Business mentoring program; repealer.

S.6120/A.7848: Requires access aisles of handicapped parking spaces to be marked with a sign and diagonal stripes.

S.6150-A/A.9149-A: Relates to the powers of the State of New York mortgage agency.

S.6699/A.10941: Relates to extending the provisions of chapter 591 of 2001 relating to limiting the check cashing exemption for national banks.
S.6949-A/A.10275-A: Relates to the listing of group policyholders in a directory.

S.7099/A.10557: Relates to the licensing of slaughterhouses.

S.7149/A.10856: Provides that in certain cases notification can be provided by overnight delivery service with proof of mailing or by personal services.

S.7422/A.10293: Relates to redistributing 2009 bond volume allocations.

S.7439/A.11157: Relates to the minimum hours of supervised driving requirement for licensing.

S.7444/A.10930: Relates to authorized and unissued shares of bank, trust company and investment company stock and changes the presumption as to preemptive rights of shareholders.

S.7446/A.11120: Relates to bank holding companies; simplifies and streamlines the application of the bank holding company provisions; repealer.

S.7582/A.11239: Extends certain provisions relating to the powers of the State of New York mortgage agency.

S.7696/A.11531: Relates to the sale of bonds and notes of the City of New York

Governor's Program Bill No. 68, S.7715-A/A.9051-A: Directs the New York State bridge authority to acquire and maintain the walkway over the Hudson Bridge.
S.7827/A.11240: Requires reporting of newborn hearing screening results and data to the Department of Health.

S.8017/A.11319: Relates to charter schools.

Governor's Program Bill No. 302, S.8367/A.11558: Enacts the "City of Newburgh Fiscal Recovery Act" to authorize such city to issue bonds to liquidate certain deficits, and impose certain budgetary requirements.

The Governor vetoed the following pieces of legislation:
S.8008/A.11315: Would have extended the Power for Jobs and Energy Cost Savings Benefit programs through June 16, 2010. The Governor has consistently stated that he would not approve Power for Jobs extenders in light of his proposal to broadly reform the program which received bipartisan support in the Senate, but has yet to be acted upon by the Assembly.

"The days of passing one year extenders of broken programs are over. As demonstrated by the Senate's leadership on this issue, real reform is possible and I encourage the Assembly to join with us in passing this historic legislation," Governor Paterson said. "Signing this bill would have been seen as a signal that I would be willing to continue signing extenders, instead of working to establish a permanent solution to help stimulate our economy and put New Yorkers back to work."

A.1729/S.5002: Would have provided staff membership and additional professional privileges to psychologists. Various hospital associations argued that the medical staff at a particular institution is best determined by that institution and that the governing body of a hospital is responsible for the quality of care delivered by the hospital and for overseeing the selection of its medical staff. This bill would have restricted that body from making judgments regarding the nature and scope of its operations.

A.10466/S.7282: Would have named approximately 154.3 acres of State land in Suffolk County as the Edwin M. Schwenk Memorial Nature Preserve. The policy of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), however, has been to name land using popular local, historical or geographical names, not the names of individuals. The agency has instead named capital improvements made to such land to recognize those who have significantly contributed effort or resources to the project. S.4872/A.7171-A: Would have allowed for binding interest arbitration to resolve collective bargaining disputes in regard to Suffolk County probation officers. This bill was inconsistent with administration policy which has declined to extend the reach of binding arbitration.

S.5440-C/A.8172-C: Would have allowed licensed wineries or farm wineries to apply to the State Liquor Authority (SLA) for a temporary permit to sell wine for on-premises consumption at a "food festival at which food is widely available." The bill stated that there would be no fee for such permits, however, in comparable instances a fee is currently charged.

S.6966/A.10067: Would have barred any civil service position in the competitive class from being reclassified as non-competitive. This bill was at odds with the Governor's ongoing effort to make the civil service system more flexible.

S.8316/A.11535: Would have removed the ability for Federal courts to approve agreements between Indian nations or tribes and the State, empowering only the State Legislature to do so. This would have also limited the Governor's flexibility to settle lawsuits, and thereby granted the Legislature unprecedented control over an executive function.

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