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Hochul vetoes progressive noncompete agreement ban after intense lobbying

Governor Kathy Hochul vetoed a bill aimed at banning noncompete agreements between employers and their employees, a move that aligns with the interests of the business community.

This decision came after intense negotiations and lobbying efforts, with initial proposals suggesting varying income thresholds for the application of the ban. The bill, facing opposition from business sectors, sparked a debate between labor groups advocating for a blanket ban and business interests seeking to maintain the status quo.

The legislative process was marked by a political tug-of-war, with significant implications for New York’s post-pandemic economic landscape. State Sen. Sean Ryan, a proponent of the ban, argued for its necessity to foster economic growth and competition. However, his stance appeared to soften following a $1 million lobbying campaign by the Public Policy Institute of New York State, an affiliate of the state’s Business Council.

The intense lobbying activities, including a high-profile campaign against the bill, underscore the divergent views on how best to balance employee rights with business interests. The debate over this legislation attracted national attention, reflecting a broader conversation on noncompete agreements and their impact on the workforce and the economy.