Committee Activity in Review

As published in the NY Business Law Journal:

WINTER 2013 NY BUSINESS LAW JOURNAL
LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS COMMITEE

Members of the Legislative Affairs Committee met September 17, 2013. We discussed pending legislative initiatives and the committee’s role in commenting on proposed legislation that affects business in New York and initiating new proposed legislation. I suggested that the committee have a mission: to improve New York laws in ways that reinforce New York’s stature as a center of commerce. State laws should facilitate doing business in New York. They should not be an obstacle.

A major project the Business Law Section undertook some years ago was to modernize the NY Not-for-Profit Corporation Law. After years of hard work and the support of the NYSBA, the bill proposed by the Business Law Section was approved by both houses of the state legislature in the 2013 session, but at this writing had not yet been signed by the Governor.

Amendment of the New York Franchise Act is next in line. The Business Law Section proposed amendments to this law in November of 2009. The proposal would correct large portions of the law that have been preempted by the Federal Trade Commission’s trade regulation rule on franchising. It would improve the business climate in NY at no cost to taxpayers. The proposal would dramatically

eliminate traps for the unwary. The Section is seeking to have the franchise law proposal included among the NYSBA’s legislative priorities for 2014. Kevin Kerwin, Associate Director of the NYSBA’s Department of Governmental Affairs, informed the committee that the Association can lobby for a bill that has been approved by the Association’s Executive Committee regardless of whether it is one of the Association’s priorities. The Executive Committee of the NYSBA approved the proposal in January 2010.

There is plenty of room for improvement of any number New York corporations and limited liability companies and securities offerings. The committee also supports a UCC modernization bill initiated by the New York City Bar Association.

We encourage participation on the Legislative Affairs Committee from members of all other Business Law Section committees. Each committee should designate at least one person to focus on legislative needs, consider improvements to existing law, be prepared to respond to proposed legislation from others, and work with our committee.

--Thomas Pitegoff, Chair

Winter 2012 NY Business Law Journal
Legislative Affairs Commitee

The Legislative Affairs Committee follows bills in the New York State legislature that are of particular interest to business lawyers. Its activities include meetings with legislators and other interested groups, and the submission of memoranda opposing or supporting bills. The Committee is most active during the legislative session from April to June each year. The Committee is currently reviewing a proposed Omnibus UCC Bill intended to bring the State of New York’s UCC law up to date and considering whether to recommend that the Association support its passage.

- Peter W. LaVigne, Chair

Summer 2012 NY Business Law Journal
Legislative Affairs Committee

The Legislative Affairs Committee has been working with the Corporations Law Committee, former Section Chair Paul Silverman, and the Bar Association’s legislative staff to propose an alternative to the Senate and Assembly bills that would require New York corporations that are public companies to permit shareholders to participate and vote remotely by means of electronic communications. An alternative draft bill which, among other things, would enable but not require New York corporations to offer remote participation, was submitted to Assemblyman Kavanagh’s office, and on February 29 we had a conference call with Assemblyman Kavanagh to discuss his bill and our proposed alternative. The Committee continues to monitor proposed legislation of interest to Business Law Section members.

-- Peter W. LaVigne, Chair

Winter 2011 NY Business Law Journal
Legislative Affairs Committee

The Legislative Affairs Committee works with other committees to promote the Business Law Section’s interests in the New York State Legislature and in the United States Congress. It helps formulate legislative proposals and supporting memoranda, coordinate presentation to the proper legislators and committees, and articulate solid policy rationales for the enactment of those initiatives. Where appropriate, the Legislative Affairs Committee also helps set forth concerns that the Section or its constituent committees may have in regard to legislation, helps constructively to amend those proposals to create legislation that benefi ts all New Yorkers and, if and when necessary, opposes legislation.

The committee’s current projects include conveying to the New York State Legislature the practical problems arising from, and the Corporation Law Committee’s concerns about, a proposal to impose remote participation and electronic voting requirements on corporate shareholder meetings, and assisting the Franchise Distribution and Licensing Law Committee in its efforts to reform New York’s franchise statutes.

---Peter LaVigne, Chair