Legislative Memo

Ken Pokalsky
Vice President of Government Affairs
T 518.465.7517 x205


A. 3705 (John)/S.4912 (Addabbo)



Definition of “Public Work”/Prevailing Wage Mandates on Private Sector Projects



June 1, 2009


The Business Council opposes this legislation that would impose significant additional costs on private sector projects financed or supported in whole or part by industrial development agencies, the Job Development Authority, and other state or local entities.

Specifically, this bill would define private sector and charter school projects receiving financial assistance from these state and local entities as “public works” for purpose of Labor Law “prevailing wage” mandates for construction activity.

The Business Council opposes this legislation for several reasons.

The Legislature and Administration are considering broad reforms in the state's economic development programs, including industrial development agencies.  The Business Council believes that any new requirements related to wage levels or source of labor in state and local financial assistance programs should be done in this broader context.  Likewise, we believe that the state should consider a range of alternatives for assuring adequate “return on investment” of state financial assistance and tax expenditures, instead of a one-size-fits all, state-wide “prevailing wage” mandate.

The implementation of any proposal that discourages new economic activity and adds costs in this economic climate is ill-advised and will only weaken New York's ability to participate in an economic recovery.

For these reasons, The Business Council strongly opposes approval of A. 3705/S.4912.