Chair, Assembly Committee on Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development
Room 712 LOB
Albany NY 12248
Hello My Friends,
The 2009 Legislative Session was one of the most difficult for our State in decades. We struggled against the onslaught of one of the worst recessions in our State and Nation’s history. Citizens of this great State suffered foreclosure, loss of jobs and loss of personal savings.
Yet despite the difficulties of this year’s budget we were able to ensure that our parks, museums, zoos, botanical gardens, aquariums, theaters and other such institutions of optimism remained open and a vibrant source of education, solace and entertainment for New York’s citizens and visitors alike. Sacrifices had to be made, but it was important to remind ourselves that a society’s true strength is measured by its dedication to the preservation of its shared heritage, environmental legacy and cultural assets.
As Chair of the Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development Committee, I am proud of the many accomplishments of the Committee during this past session. I am pleased to offer to you this brief update that highlights much of this important work.
Please enjoy this newsletter and feel free to contact my office with any concerns, ideas, suggestions or other input about how this committee can better serve all New Yorkers. Thank you.
Steven Englebright, Chair
Assembly Committee on Tourism,
Parks, Arts and Sports Development
The Assembly Standing Committee on Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development is responsible for reviewing and initiating legislation that affects tourism, State parks and historic sites, and arts groups in New York State. The Committee’s statutory purview includes: Arts and Cultural Affairs Law, Canal Law, Navigation Law, Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Law, Economic Development Law and portions of the Executive, General Business Law and Unconsolidated Law. Entities under the jurisdiction of the Committee include the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the Department of Economic Development Division of Tourism, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Olympic Regional Development Authority, the State Athletic Commission and the Canal Corporation.
Legislation before the Committee emanates principally from legislators who are aware of the issues facing the tourism industry, tourism-related businesses, and the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Department of State and the Canal Corporation as part of the Thruway Authority.
John J. McEneny
Margaret M. Markey
Michael N. Gianaris
Daniel J. O’Donnell
Aileen M. Gunther
Dennis H. Gabryszak
Linda B. Rosenthal
Teresa R. Sayward
Thomas F. O’Mara
Devin R. Lander,
In the spirit of collaboration based on a shared belief in the importance of the arts to New York State, Assembly Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development Chair Steven Englebright and Senate Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation Chair Jose M. Serrano held a joint meeting of the Committees during the New York State Arts Advocacy Day. This unprecedented meeting was broadcast online and featured testimony via YouTube by freelance artist Jeff Tocci, representatives of the New York Botanical Garden and many others. The joint meeting also featured a performance by Grammy-award winning singer/songwriter Tom Chapin who composed a song for the occasion.
In a bold step towards collaboration, Committee Chair Steven Englebright brought talented leaders from New York’s famous Broadway theaters and shows together with leaders from the State’s Division of Tourism to discuss how Broadway could help promote New York State. New York’s original I Love NY television campaign from the late 1970s included many talented performers, directors, producers, writers, and choreographers who donated their services. Assemblyman Englebright’s hope is that a similar collaboration can take place in this current era of looming State budget cuts to the tourism marketing program.
As Chair of the Tourism Committee, Assemblyman Steven Englebright was the keynote speaker at the 2009 New York State Arts Summit. Assemblyman Englebright spoke about the importance of the Arts to the economy and sense of well being of New York State and how the members of the Tourism Committee fought vigorously during the 2009-2010 budget process to ensure that funding for the Arts was restored.
A.1499 (Wright). This legislation creates the People’s History Project within the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The Project allows for the nomination of sites of historic significance to be included in the project, whereby signs stating the significance of the site will be erected and appropriate historic information will become a part of the educational curriculum of New York. Referred to Ways and Means.
A.5513 (Englebright). This legislation establishes a revolving loan fund to be used for the purchase and installation of sprinkler systems in historic buildings. Referred to Ways and Means.
A.7432-A (Englebright). This legislation would increase the number of members on the New York State Heritage Areas Advisory Council from 21 to 26, including a representative of the State Heritage Area Association, the Director or Chief Executive Officer of the Hudson River National Heritage Area, the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, the Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership and the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area. Signed as Chapter 317 of the Laws of 2009.
A.7885 (McEneny). This legislation would allow community districts in cities with populations of over one million to appoint local government historians. The historians’ responsibilities would include researching and writing community history, serving as an educational resource and promoting historic preservation projects. Passed Assembly.
A.8157 (McEneny). This legislation creates a 14-member commission in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War for the years 2011 through 2015. Passed Assembly.
A.8405-C (Brodsky). This legislation would create the New York State War of 1812 200th Anniversary Commemoration Commission consisting of nineteen members to coordinate the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 through the year 2015 including several re-enactment events. Passed Assembly.
A.2009-C (Englebright). This legislation would allow professional combative sports known as “mixed martial arts” (MMA) to be held in the State and sets forth the jurisdiction of the New York State Athletic Commission (the “Commission”) as it relates to MMA. Referred to Ways and Means.
A.5889-C (Galef). This legislation would require any person born on or after January 1, 1992, to hold a Boating Safety Certificate issued to him or her by the Commissioner, the United States Power Squadrons, the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, or other State government in order to legally operate a mechanically propelled vessel on the navigable waters of the State. Alternately, if the operator is younger than eighteen years of age, he or she must be accompanied by a person who is eighteen years of age or older and is either the holder of a Boating Safety Certificate or is not required to hold a certificate. And lastly, if the operator is eighteen years of age or older and does not hold a Boating Safety Certificate, he or she must be accompanied by someone eighteen years of age or older who holds a Boating Safety Certificate. Ordered 3rd reading.
A.6090 (Englebright). This legislation creates the New York State Amateur Sports Development Advisory Council, comprised of eighteen members. The Council’s purpose is to identify and review amateur sports activities, to advise the creation of better policies and programs in the promotion of amateur sports, and to convey this knowledge to the Commissioner. Passed Assembly.
A.6784 (Englebright). This legislation requires that between November 1st and May 1st all passengers of certain pleasure vessels wear personal floatation devices whenever the vessel is underway. Signed as Chapter 115 of the Laws of 2009.
A.7020 (Lancman). This legislation would provide that no sporting event or competition be permitted in New York State that is sponsored by an organization that in the prior year has excluded participants based on race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, citizenship or national origin. Recent events in the sporting world have raised international concern that regulations ensure equal and fair treatment of participants regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, citizenship or national origin. Referred to Codes.
A.2769 (Glick). This legislation establishes the New York City parks, trees and urban forestry fund to provide funding by means of a check off on city income tax returns. The focus of this bill is both local environmental protection and global consequences. With an ever increasing awareness of the fragile nature of our global environment, the Committee encourages the people of New York to participate in conservation efforts. Passed Assembly.
A.3399 (Englebright). This legislation names State-owned lands in the Stony Brook area Stony Brook Harbor State Park. Currently, no State park exists in the Stony Brook area. With funds from the Environmental Protection Fund, the State is purchasing lands in this area. These lands should be combined into one singular protected entity named Stony Brook Harbor State Park. Referred to Ways and Means.
A.6103 (Englebright). This legislation requires the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to establish a recycling program and policy. Reported to Ways and Means.
A.7183-B (Englebright). This legislation would prohibit an unauthorized person to carry, or have in his or her possession, a concealed firearm in any Federal, State, or municipal park, campground or other publicly dedicated recreation area. This legislation also exempts from this prohibition any park under the jurisdiction of the Department of Environmental Conservation during the spring or fall hunting seasons, any person employed by a private security firm that has contracted with the public agency having jurisdiction over the park, campground or public recreation area, any person taking part in recreational hunting activities permitted on certain lands as determined by rule or regulation, and any privately owned residence within parks and campgrounds in the Adirondack Park and Catskill Park. Referred to Codes.
A.694-A (Hoyt). This legislation establishes an optional pilot program for the creation of arts-based districts in Buffalo, Troy, Rochester and Syracuse consisting mainly of residential and arts-related and service-related commercial uses to be organized as a business improvement district. Each district will have an Artist Home Ownership Program to assist artists in purchasing and rehabilitating a home within the district, be provided technical assistance through the “I Love New York” program to develop a tourism marketing plan, and be included in a grant program designed to assist in the development of districts. Referred to Ways and Means.
A.4544 (Rosenthal). This bill would allow ex-officio members of the board for the Trust for Cultural Resources of the city of New York to also serve concurrently as an ex officio member of the board of trustees of a participating cultural institution. It would also add the Commissioner of Cultural Affairs and allow the Deputy Mayor to send a designee. Signed as Chapter 99 of the Laws of 2009.
A.6783 (Englebright). This legislation would increase fees for the surcharge charged by the county clerk's office for assignment of an index number to an action pending in a Supreme or County Court from $5.00 to $7.50 to be paid to the Commissioner of Education after depositing twenty-five cents into the Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund (LGRMIF), and from $15.00 to $22.50 for deposit in the Cultural Education (CE) Account. Reported to Ways and Means.
A.6959-A (Brodsky). This legislation would require each museum to develop, adopt, publish and be bound by a collection management policy and mission statement. In accordance with that mission statement, all items in a museum’s possession would be accessioned and a register of the contents of the collection would be published. This legislation would also prohibit a museum from disposing of an item in its collection except as set forth in this statute and in its mission statement and collections management policy and not until the item has been deaccessioned. Referred to Ways and Means.
A.7394-A (Rivera). This legislation would provide for the continuation of the weekly one-day free admission to the zoological park (Bronx Zoo) of the New York Zoological Society for an additional three years until July 1, 2012. Signed as Chapter 49 of the Laws of 2009.
A.7950-D (Englebright). This legislation extends current regulations of ticket resale until May 15, 2010. It also requires that a venue determine whether a seat has an obstructed view and disclose such information to the purchaser of the ticket. Signed as Chapter 68 of the Laws of 2009.
A.8623-A (Englebright). This legislation would require that any operator or promoter selling tickets for an event must determine whether a seat for sale has an obstructed view and disclose such information, and any reseller selling a ticket for a seat with an obstructed view must also disclose such information as disclosed by the operator or promoter. This legislation would also require a study to be conducted on the ticket selling industry by the consumer protection board. Passed Assembly.
The financial crisis that has wreaked havoc on the State and national economies in 2009 brings with it the prospects of an austere budget as the State moves forward into the 2010-2011 fiscal year. Despite this potentially negative situation, however, the Committee will continue to strive to meet the needs of the citizens of the State; their need of recreation and the arts, and the need to preserve and share the history of this great State.
The 2010 legislative session will bring the opportunity for the Committee to continue to work and partner with the Senate committee on Tourism, as well as take an active part in several inter-agency collaborations to help the State maximize tourism and arts spending and communication.
The overwhelming success of the Film Production Tax Credit has been evidenced by a number of potential runaway productions deciding to film in New York. This credit brings in millions in additional spending and substantial tax revenue, and keeps New York and New Yorkers working, while easily offsetting the costs of maintaining the credit. It is the intention of the Committee to advocate for the expansion of the credit, as well as a new additional post-production tax credit.
This year the Committee will also undertake legislation that will further protect and preserve all State park land, recognizing its unique biodiversity and importance to habitat preservation, as well as the natural history of our State.
Another issue that will warrant both public hearings and legislation during the 2010 legislative session is the secondary ticket resale market. Examination of the impact of the current secondary ticket resale statute and its effect on consumers, the economy, and business will all be addressed.
As always, the Committee will continue to work with arts and cultural groups to secure additional legislative success. We remain interested in initiatives to help localities capitalize on the local arts and cultural fabric making up their communities. We look forward to meeting with the industry and continuing to review their proposals and suggestions.