Dear Member: We know you’re curious about what the results of yesterday’s elections means for the city’s hospitality industry.
So, here’s a recap of what happened here in New York State at the state government level. And while what happens in Congress obviously matters greatly to our industry, as you know from our ongoing communications, the day-to-day decisions that take place at the state and local level are often much more immediate and impactful on your businesses.
NYS Governor – As you probably know by now, Governor Andrew Cuomo was re-elected to a third term by a wide margin – eclipsing challenger Mark Molinaro by more than 22 points. The most significant, and timely, issue pending with the Cuomo Administration is the potential elimination of the tip credit in New York State, which is still under consideration with the NYS Department of Labor. We have worked exceedingly hard to organize and let the Governor and DOL Commissioner know of our industry’s solid opposition to this proposal and we will be reinforcing this position immediately.
NYS Attorney General – New York City Public Advocate Letitia James made history last night as she was elected the first African-American woman to serve as Attorney General in New York. The Alliance has worked with Public Advocate James over the years in her role as the NYC Public Advocate and Council Member, and we look forward to continuing to advocate for our members with her in her new role.
NYS Senate – No doubt the biggest story of the night for the future of New York City’s hospitality industry was the “blue wave” that swept New York’s State Senate seats and returned Democrats to the Majority. There will be at least eight new Democratic State Senators, meaning that come January, Democrats will control the Senate with 39 seats (with several other pending races potentially also going to Democrats). Historically, the Senate Republican Majority had declined to act on potentially damaging pieces of legislation passed by the Democratic New York State Assembly – including bills to allow personal liens on restaurant owners for accusations of wage theft, increased power for community boards in liquor license proceedings, etc.) Now the NYC Hospitality Alliance’s government affairs team will be working overtime to educate the incoming Democratic majority about the economic challenges facing so many of our businesses and the importance of our industry to the NYS economy. As we have shared previously, we already have secured the support of Democratic Senators such as Senator Parker and Senator Benjamin for our opposition to eliminating the tip credit, as well as collaborative initiatives such as our Con Ed report with Senator Hoylman. We will continue to build on these relationships and will let our membership know how you can help us tell our story in the coming weeks and months.
NYS Assembly – As expected, the NYS Assembly maintained its overwhelming Democratic majority.
Once again, the NYC Hospitality Alliance is committed to representing you and our industry’s interests in State and City government and we look forward to partnering with you as we tackle numerous challenges and opportunities in 2019.