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Legislative Memo

T 518.465.7511
www.bcnys.org

BILL:

A.6598-A (John) / S.6797 (Marcellino)

Support

SUBJECT:

Prevailing Wage Mandate on Off-Site Custom Fabrication

 

DATE:

May 21, 2008

 

The Business Council STRONGLY OPPOSES this legislation that would impose a prevailing wage mandate on certain off-site custom fabrication for related public works projects. The legislation would include, but not be limited to the custom fabrication of woodwork, cases, cabinets or counters, electrical, plumbing, heating, cooling, ventilation or exhaust duct systems and countless other products. This legislation would significantly increase the cost of public works projects.

The current condition of the state and national economy is dismal. According to Chief Executive Magazine, New York is the 49th worst state to do business. Prohibitive labor costs, high taxes, regulatory red tape, soaring healthcare premiums, a weakening financial services industry and a deteriorating job market are just some of the negative factors contributing to New York's economic woes.

The current economic downturn is particularly troubling for employers and employees in the construction industry. With rising costs for materials, soaring energy prices, a tort system in desperate need of reform, and limited taxpayer dollars for public works this legislation would likely cause the elimination of vital infrastructure projects.

In Veto Message No. 113 of 2005, the New York State Department of Labor urged disapproval of similar legislation because business would be driven out of the State to contractors not subject to New York's prevailing wage law. Furthermore, this legislation is absolutely counter productive to Governor Paterson's efforts to curtail excessive government spending.

The Business Council believes that this is certainly the wrong legislation at the worst time for taxpayers struggling to make ends meet in a sluggish economy. State and local construction projects should not be jeopardized by this special interest backed legislation that lacks any evidence that a "problem" exists with the custom fabrication of products.

Some of the organizations joining The Business Council in opposition to this legislation include: General Building Contractors, Associated General Contractors of America, NYS Association of Town Superintendents of Highways, Northeastern Subcontractors Association and the Long Island Contractors' Association.