In New York by jolinmilioncherie



MARCH 11, 2011

                                                                  has proposed the same solution to this issue and the As-
 SENATE AND ASSEMBLY                                              sembly should act on it as well.”
 PROPOSALS                                                        In the Assembly, Rory Lancman introduced an alternative
 Rank and File Legislators Lead Budget Charge                     medical malpractice reform proposal to rival the Governor’s
                                                                  Medicaid Reform Team (MRT) initiative. Assemblyman
 Rank and file legislators from both houses spent the week        Lancman’s measure seeks to “reduce medical malpractice
 floating budget possibilities. The legislative leaders spent     costs by reducing incidents of medical malpractice.” It
 the week mulling the possibilities. The respective fiscal        does not limit damages or establish a medical indemnity
 staffs have a long weekend of number crunching and bill          fund for neurologically impaired infants, the two most con-
 drafting ahead of them in preparation for Tuesday’s legisla-     tentious provisions of the MRT proposal.
 tive budget deadline.
                                                                  The Assembly has also rallied behind continuing New
 Both the Senate and Assembly have set March 15th as              York’s “millionaire” tax to help mitigate cuts to education. A
 the deadline for passage of their respective budgets. The        70-member coalition of Assembly members – led by As-
 contents of these budgets will establish the negotiation pa-     sembly Education Chair Catherine Nolan – called upon the
 rameters for the legislative conference committees also          Speaker to consider the extension as a viable alternative.
 scheduled to begin next week.                                    In response, the Speaker Silver indicated that he will heed
                                                                  the call and include the extension in the Assembly budget.
 The Senate passed legislation sponsored by Senator
 Michael Ranzenhofer to repeal a tax on local economic de-        “The Speaker wholeheartedly agrees that we should not
 velopment agencies that hinders job growth and economic          be giving a tax break to the wealthiest New Yorkers while
 investment. According to the Senator, the tax, first enacted     we are cutting teachers from our classrooms, closing sen-
 in 2009, provides a direct obstacle to the ability of Indus-     ior centers and reducing aid to CUNY and SUNY,” Speaker
 trial Development Agencies and Authorities (IDAs) to invest      Silver’s spokeswoman Sisa Moyo said, according to pub-
 in new projects, support local businesses, and create jobs.      lished reports.
 The measure mirrors a proposal included in Governor
 Cuomo’s Executive Budget to remove this tax and restore          Rumblings for the extension are starting to be heard in the
 IDA funding.                                                     Senate. Senator Joseph Bonacic broke ranks with his Re-
                                                                  publican counterparts and came out in support of a “true”
 “Senate Republicans opposed every tax hike and with this         millionaire’s tax – increasing the tax rate for individuals
 bill we will repeal an ill-advised tax placed on the local       making $1 million or more annually. The current tax rate
 agencies that are trying to encourage economic growth,”          applies to individuals making more than $200,000 a year
 Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said. “The Governor           and couples earning $300,000 and above.

  Vincent F. Pitta is the founding and managing
                                                                  Senate Deputy Majority Leader Thomas Libous, said Sen-
  partner of Pitta & Giblin LLP.
                                                                  ator Bonacic’s position was not representative of the Sen-                                          ate Republican conference.
  Tel: 212-652-3836
  Fax: 212-652-3891                                               “The position of the conference has not changed,” Senator

 Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin LLC | 120 Broadway | New York, NY 10271 | 111 Washington Avenue, Suite 401 Albany, New York 12210 | New York: P: 212.652.3890 | F:212.652.3891 | Albany: P: 518-449-3320 | F: 518-449-5812.
Libous explained, according to published reports. “We            glycemia and diabetes.
need to work with Andrew Cuomo to get a budget done
that cuts spending like he proposed and that has no taxes        New York’s investigation demonstrated that AstraZeneca
in it. That’s what we are pushing for.”                          concealed and minimized the risks of these side effects.
                                                                 AstraZeneca also marketed Seroquel for off-label and po-
As proposals are unveiled and negotiated, lest not forget        tentially dangerous uses including pediatric use, for use at
Charles Dudley Warner’s (1850) contention “politics makes        high dosage levels, for the treatment of symptoms rather
strange bedfellows” (which has been linked to Shake-             than diagnosed conditions, and to treat dementia and
speare’s (The Tempest) “Misery acquaints a man with              Alzheimer’s disease in the elderly.
strange bedfellows”).                                            Following the Attorneys General’s investigation, As-
                                                                 traZeneca agreed to change its marketing of Seroquel and
Attorney General Lands $3.1 Million Settlement                   to cease promoting off-label uses of the drug, which are
                                                                 not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
With Drug Company for Deceptive Advertising
AstraZeneca Marketed Drug for Unauthorized Uses & Failed to
Disclose Serious Potential Side Effects
                                                                 The settlement, filed in state court, also contains injunctive
                                                                 terms prohibiting the use of financial incentives to manipu-
Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman yesterday an-
                                                                 late doctors, deterring off-label marketing and requiring
nounced a $3.1 million settlement with the major pharma-
                                                                 that AstraZeneca disclose scientific evidence of dangerous
ceutical company AstraZeneca, following allegations that it
                                                                 side effects, the Attorney General explained. In addition,
improperly marketed and promoted the antipsychotic drug
                                                                 the settlement requires AstraZeneca to provide accurate,
Seroquel. The agreement is part of a 37-state settlement
                                                                 objective and scientifically balanced responses to requests
totaling $68.5 million.
                                                                 for off-label usage information. AstraZeneca must also
                                                                 have policies in place to ensure that financial incentives are
According to the Attorney General, these practices violate
                                                                 not given to marketing and sales personnel for off-label
consumer protection laws established to protect patients
                                                                 marketing and that sales personnel do not promote to
and ensure that health care providers are fully briefed on
                                                                 health care providers who are unlikely to prescribe Sero-
the medications available, including all known potential
                                                                 quel for an FDA- approved use.
benefits and side effects.

“The illegal promotion of drugs for off-label uses and hiding    In the News – New York City
scientific studies that reveal the dangers of pharmaceutical
drugs must stop,” said Attorney General Schneiderman.            NYC Comptroller Looks Into NYC Municipal
                                                                 Employee Compensation
In the complaint, Attorney General Schneiderman alleged          In an effort to facilitate the discussion of public employee
that AstraZeneca engaged in deceptive and misleading             pensions in New York City, Comptroller John Liu has un-
practices when it marketed Seroquel for unauthorized, or         dertaken a research initiative, Retirement Security NYC, to
“off-label,” uses and failed to adequately disclose the drug’s   provide objective, numbers-based employment and retire-
serious potential side effects to health care providers, in-     ment-related information. The initiative released its first re-
cluding hyperglycemia and diabetes mellitus.                     port this week, entitled “Municipal Employee
                                                                 Compensation in New York City.”
Seroquel is approved for the treatment of schizophrenia,
certain instances of bipolar disorder, and depressive            “This kind of objective research will serve both public em-
episodes associated with bipolar disorder, according to the      ployees and the taxpayers,” Comptroller Liu added. “Policy
Attorney General When it was first introduced to the mar-        decisions of this magnitude must be made thoughtfully
ket in the 1990s, experts thought that it would be less          and based on the facts.”
likely to produce Parkinson’s type symptoms and motion
disorders such as tardive dyskinesia, and therefore could        Authored by the Comptroller’s Chief Economist Frank Bra-
be used in long-term treatment of schizophrenia. However,        coni, Ph.D., findings of the report include:
while Seroquel may reduce the risk of these symptoms, it
also produced dangerous side effects, including hyper-           I Without adjusting for age, education, or any other de-

Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin LLC | 120 Broadway | New York, NY 10271 | 111 Washington Avenue, Suite 401 Albany, New York 12210 | New York: P: 212.652.3890 | F:212.652.3891 | Albany: P: 518-449-3320 | F: 518-449-5812.
   mographic factors, the average full-time government             “I have absolutely no idea where he gets those numbers,”
   worker in NYC earns 17 percent less than the average            Mayor Bloomberg said, according to published reports.
   private, for-profit employee.                                   “Last I checked his job was to audit the city contracts and
                                                                   the books.”
I The wage distribution is “compressed” in NYC govern-
  ment, i.e. there is less disparity between lower and             “Retirement Security NYC” is partnering with two leading
  higher income earners.                                           institutions—the National Institute on Retirement Security
                                                                   (NIRS) and The New School’s Schwartz Center for Eco-
I The wages of City workers on average are lower than              nomic Policy Analysis (SCEPA)—to analyze the current
  their private sector counterparts even though City work-         state of public pensions and offer sensible reforms, ac-
  ers are more highly educated.                                    cording to the Comptroller.

I Employer costs of retirement benefits for NYC civilian           Budget Director to City Agencies: You Know the Drill
  workers, including teachers, are not fundamentally dif-          New York City Budget Director yesterday called for another
  ferent than the retirement benefit costs of other large          round of agency reductions, giving agency heads until
  employers.                                                       March 24th to submit $600 million in budget cuts. The tar-
                                                                   get savings are 2% for the uniformed forces and Depart-
I A larger portion of total employee compensation in the           ment of Education and 4% for all other agencies.
  public sector comes in the form of fringe benefits, par-
  ticularly health and pension.                                    “A key component of our plan for balance for FY 2012 is
                                                                   $600 million of measures to be taken by the State,” Mr.
I Most City employees are offered “defined benefit” (i.e.          Page wrote in a memo to agency heads. “If the state does
  traditional pension) plans which guarantee the level of          not deliver, we must maintain budget balance.”
  annual retirement benefits.
                                                                   Agencies are asked to prioritize the cuts in order of prefer-
I The basic structure of NYC police and fire pensions is           ence. Mr. Page noted, however, that the proposed reduc-
  similar to that of other jurisdictions as well as to that of     tions do not necessarily represent the final outcome of the
  the U.S. military.                                               resource allocation of the agency.

I There is little evidence to demonstrate that NYC police          The Budget Director’s call did not come as a surprise. In
  officers or firefighters are “spiking” their overtime prior to   fact, Mayor Michael Bloomberg alluded to the possibility in
  their retirements.                                               releasing his preliminary budget last month. With the State
                                                                   moving into the final stages of its budget negotiations, the
I Pension benefits have a material effect on relative com-         call gives substance to the Mayor’s contention that Albany
  pensation rates of current City uniformed personnel,             needs to ratchet up its funding to offset potential cuts.
  particularly police officers and firefighters. The annual        The State Senate and Assembly are currently drafting their
  value of their pension benefits raises their effective com-      respective budget plans for passage early next week.
  pensation by roughly 25 percent.

“These findings about municipal salaries are an important
                                                                   IN BRIEF
foundation for any discussion about public employee pen-
sions,” said Comptroller Liu. “The issue of retirement             Attorney General Announces $154 million
needs to be looked at in the context of the overall com-           GM Clean up Settlement
pensation package earned by public employees.
                                                                   Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman this week an-
According to published reports, Mayor Michael Bloomberg            nounced that a United States Bankruptcy Judge in New
raised questions regarding the study including its compari-        York approved a settlement agreement with the fo rmer
son of workers’ total compensation in relation to pensions         General Motors (GM) Corporation (now known as Motors
and health benefits.                                               Liquidation Company) that will dedicate $154 million to the
                                                                   environmental cleanup and redevelopment of contami-

Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin LLC | 120 Broadway | New York, NY 10271 | 111 Washington Avenue, Suite 401 Albany, New York 12210 | New York: P: 212.652.3890 | F:212.652.3891 | Albany: P: 518-449-3320 | F: 518-449-5812.
nated sites in New York. The agreement was approved as           • 11:00 a.m.
part of the company’s plan of liquidation and involved set-      Business Integrity Commission
tlements with the federal government and several States,         • 11:30 a.m.
including New York and the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe.               Public

The settlement with the former General Motors Corp. and          Committee on Oversight and Investigations, 250 Broadway -
the federal government will dedicate $154 million directly       Committee Rm, 14th Fl., 10 a.m. Oversight – New York City
for the cleanup and redevelopment of former GM sites in          Council Fiscal Year 2012 Preliminary Budget
Massena (St. Lawrence County) and Salina – just outside
Syracuse (Onondaga County).                                      • 10:00 a.m.
                                                                 Department of Investigation
Employers Prepare for Wage Theft Prevention Act                  • 11:15 a.m.
The Wage Theft Protection Act (Chapter 564 of the Laws           Public
of 2010) goes into effect April 9, 2011. Signed into law by
Governor David Paterson on December 13, 2010 (TWINY,             Committee on Aging & the Subcommittee on Senior Centers, 250
12/17/10), the Wage Theft Protection Act enacts new em-          Broadway - Committee Rm, 16th Fl., 1:30 p.m.
ployer notification and recordkeeping requirements, signifi-     Oversight – New York City Council Fiscal Year 2012 Preliminary
cantly expands the Department of Labor’s enforcement             Budget
powers, and increases employers’ potential liability for vio-
lations of the Labor Law.                                        • 1:30 p.m.
                                                                 Department For The Aging
                                                                 • 2:30 p.m.
Four Gubernatorial Nominees Confirmed
The State Senate this week unanimously confirmed Gover-
nor Andrew Cuomo’s nominees: Rose Harvey, Commis-
                                                                 Tuesday, March 15th
sioner of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation;
                                                                 Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises, 250 Broadway - Com-
Joseph Martens, Commissioner of Environmental Conser-
                                                                 mittee Rm, 16th Fl., 9:30 a.m.
vation; Thomas H. Mattox, Commissioner of Tax and Fi-
                                                                 Committee on Public Safety, 250 Broadway - Committee Rm,
nance; and Joan McDonald, Commissioner of
                                                                 14th Fl., 10 a.m. Oversight – New York City Council Fiscal Year
                                                                 2012 Preliminary Budget
                                                                 Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Siting and Maritime Uses,
COMING UP                                                        250 Broadway - Committee Rm, 16th Fl., 11 a.m.
                                                                 Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions & Concessions, 250
New York State                                                   Broadway - Committee Rm., 1 p.m.
Monday, March 14th
The Needs of New York State Veterans                             Wednesday, March 16th
Standing Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military   Committee on Land Use, 250 Broadway - Committee Rm, 16th
Affairs                                                          Fl., 10 a.m.
State Capitol Building, Room 124, Albany, 11 a.m.                Committee on Governmental Operations, 250 Broadway - Hear-
                                                                 ing Rm, 14th Fl., 10:30 a.m. Oversight – New York City Council
New York City                                                    Fiscal Year 2012 Preliminary Budget
Monday, March 14th                                               Committee on Land & Committee on Technology, 250 Broadway -
Committee on Consumer Affairs, 250 Broadway - Committee Rm,      Committee Rm, 16th Fl., 11 a.m. Oversight – New York City
16th Fl., 10 a.m.                                                Council Fiscal Year 2012 Preliminary Budget
Oversight – New York City Council Fiscal Year 2012 Preliminary
Budget                                                           • 11:00 a.m.
                                                                 Landmarks Preservation Commission
• 10:00 a.m.                                                     • 12:00 p.m.
Department of Consumer Affairs                                   Department of City Planning
                                                                 • 1:00 p.m.

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Friday, March 18th
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Committee on Economic Development Jointly with the Committee
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– Committee Rm, 16th Fl., 11:30 a.m.
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Oversight – New York City Council Fiscal Year 2012 Preliminary
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14th Fl., Noon. Oversight – New York City Council Fiscal Year
2012 Preliminary Budget
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