Inside Long Island Business

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Rebuilding from Sandy tops LIA's 2013 agenda

Rebuilding from superstorm Sandy tops the lobbying agenda of the region's largest business organization.

“To the extent the federal aid is allowed to be used for mitigation purposes and not just restoration, there’s an opportunity to invest in the infrastructure that didn’t exist before Sandy,” Kevin Law, president and chief executive of the Long Island Association, said Thursday. 

“That can help spur economic growth, especially when you’re talking about sewage treatment plants, upgrades. That’s critical to growth on Long Island.”

The association’s agenda for 2013, released Thursday, includes more than three dozen initiatives designed to lower government spending, rein in taxes and advance policies favorable toward businesses.

Items on its agenda include supporting the expansion of MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma; expanding bus routes; strengthening the electrical grid; requiring all public employees to contribute 25 percent of their health insurance costs; ending binding arbitration for public-sector labor disputes; and opposing raising the minimum wage.

The group is also studying the potential impact that privatization of the Long Island Power Authority would have on business, and has gotten behind Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “Innovation Hot Spot” proposal that would create tax-free zones where higher education and businesses could collaborate on high-tech projects.

The association spent $68,004 in 2012 lobbying state and local officials, according to state lobbying records.

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