Monthly Archives: April 2012

Federal Air Travel Subsidies: Is Essential Air Service ‘Essential?’

 By Hunter Raines, Albany Government Law Review 

Some may recall the shocking headline last year resulting from the failure of the United States Congress to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration, costing thousands of jobs and foregoing billions of dollars in government revenue.[1]  Perhaps a few were more concerned with whether or not airlines should have adjusted their fares by the amount of the federal aviation tax that no longer applied upon expiration of the FAA’s bill to question what possible debate could exist with whether or not the FAA should be funded.[2]  In truth, however, the debate was centered not on whether or not to federally regulate aviation, but, inter alia,  how and where to subsidize certain large commercial airlines for flying routes that “just [do not] make sense” absent a government subsidy.[3]  This article argues that the proper role for the majority of these funds is not corporate (and community) welfare, but to undertake capital projects to improve infrastructure at existing, commercially sustainable airports without increasing the cost to the tenant airlines or the traveling public.  This article’s analysis will focus primarily on New York State.

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Filed under Business Law, Government Reform, Public Budgets

NLRB’s Reports on Social Media Policies: When Are Employers Crossing the Line and What Must Employers Consider?

By Hanok George, Albany Government Law Review

Introduction

Social media has become a topic of increasing interest among employers, as the employees’ statements within such media can have wide ranging impacts upon the employer.[1]  These statements can reach millions of people— including customers, venders, suppliers and many others.[2]  Due to the broad sweeping impacts associated with social media, employers have created social media policies for employees that restrict the employees’ ability to divulge work-related information on websites such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc.[3]  However, these policies walk a fine line between protecting the employer’s interests and infringing on the employees’ rights to concerted activity under Section seven of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).[4]  The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has found many employers’ social media policies to constitute unfair labor practices.[5]   Continue reading

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Filed under Constitutional Law, Employment Law, Technology Law

Toward Legislative Transparency: A Proposed Change to the New York State Constitution

By Anne Jeliff, Albany Government Law Review

The New York State legislature has become synonymous with inactivity and lack of transparency.[1]  Due to its role as host to this governing body, the city of Albany has seen its name suffer as well, having been labeled as “the capital of inertia,”[2] “Corruption Central,”[3] a town that “has. . .earned a special place” among the “pantheon of ethically challenged politicians,”[4] and a “culture” of “overall dysfunction.”[5]  Sadly, the city and its resident lawmakers have earned this reputation.  Albany has distinguished itself as one of the most inefficient and consistently corrupt seats of State government in the country.[6] Continue reading

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Filed under Professional Responsibility, Uncategorized

Marcellus Shale and Municipal Empowerment in New York

By Zachary Kansler, Albany Government Law Review

Introduction

Natural gas deposits in the Marcellus Shale geologic formations have been a polarizing issue in New York State, spanning areas of concern including public health, environmental welfare, and municipal authority, among others.  For some, Marcellus Shale is a symbol for a movement or point of view, and for others, the extraction of natural gas deposits in Marcellus Shale formations has had a more profound effect, including families alleging that their water supply has been tainted by drilling and extraction processes known as hydrofracking.[1]  Many believe the adverse effects of hydrofracking can be addressed, and hopefully mitigated through various means, including state regulation.[2]  In addition, it is also possible that local governments may have the authority to address natural gas extraction as well. However, until recently, it was not known whether such authority existed.    Continue reading

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Filed under Energy Law, Land Use, Municipal Law, Municipal Liability, New York Court of Appeals, Technology Law