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NYS CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES - March 8, 2005

 

ATTENDANCE

Gerard Cunningham, Building Contractors Association
Nick DuBray, The Business Council of New York State, Inc.
Jeff Elmer, General Contractors Association of New York
Diana Georgia, Coppola, Ryan, McHugh
Belinda Heckler, The Vandervort Group, LLC
Todd Helfrich, Builders Exchange of Rochester, Inc.
Aaron Hilger, Builders Exchange of Rochester, Inc.
Kerry Kirwan, The Business Council of New York State, Inc.
Barbara Rodriguez, AIA New York State, Inc.
Jeff Zogg, General Building Contractors of New York State

Meeting Minutes

Welcome and Introductions

Aaron Hilger, Builders Exchange of Rochester and Chairman of the New York State Construction Industry Council, opened the meeting.

Labor Law 240/241; Revised Bill Language

The revised language to A.2946 sponsored in the Assembly by Assemblyman Morelle, was distributed to the committee. The language is very similar to the last bill with the major change occurring in the ninth line of the main paragraph. The amendment changes the former language of ""sole proximate cause"", to now state ""a proximate cause"". These changes stem from the solid case law that the Cahill decision provides us with. The amended language allows damages to be apportioned.

Attached is the amended language to A.2946. The changes have been italicized and underlined.

Workers Compensation Update

Kerry Kirwan, Legislative Analyst for the Workers'' Compensation Committee, provided an update to NYSCIC. She noted that not much was new. Ms. Kirwan reported some of the Comp Committee's concerns with adopting the Governor's proposals. The committee has concerns with the solvency of the Security Fund as well as the proposal to move the Workers'' Comp Board into the Department of Labor.

Lastly, she informed NYSCIC that she will be leaving the Business Council to pursue other professional opportunities. NYSCIC thanked Kerry for her years of hard work and dedication and wished her luck in her future endeavors.

NYS Hazard Abatement Board and Occupational Safety and Health Training Program

Ms. Kirwan informed NYSCIC of an upcoming Occupational Safety and Health Committee meeting where these topics would be covered. The meeting will be on St. Patrick's Day and she invited everyone present to attend the meeting. As a result, NYSCIC decided to wait to and hear what comes out of that meeting before taking any actions. Below is a summation of the relevant discussion from the March 17th OSH Committee meeting.

OSH Committee Meeting - - March 17, 2005:

In the past few years, good things have come from both the Hazard Abatement Board and the training programs. Small businesses and trades are receiving valuable training and definitely benefiting. Under the Governor's proposal, the money available for grants would decrease substantially. It looks as if they are trying to standardize the system. The Governor's response to eliminating the Hazard Abatement Board is that it is only a restructuring technique and the moneys will still be there. The small business concern in the proposal is that the money is going under some else's control and we will not be able to know where it is being spent or even who is in charge of it. The good news is that the Senate restored the Hazard Abatement Board and it looks like they are rejecting the Governor's proposal.

OSH Committee suggestion to NYSCIC: Write a letter to Governor Pataki adamantly opposed to the elimination of the Hazard Abatement Board and reduction of funding for OSH Training Programs.

NYS Toxic Mold Task Force (A.4577/S.1771)

A brief discussion was had on A.2577/S.1771 and the establishment of a Toxic Mold Task Force to study the environmental and health impacts caused by toxic mold in New York. The Business Council has no problems with this bill because it is simply organizing a study for examination purposes.

NYSCIC Survey

Copies of the AGC of Washington's“A Study of the Economic Impact of the Construction Industry on the State of Washington” were distributed to the committee. This is a very impressive study and our goal is to produce a survey with similar results.

The committee is encouraged to provide feedback and potential survey questions for the NYSCIC survey AS SOON AS POSSIBLE in order to release the questions and begin collecting data on the construction environment in New York State.

Regional NYSCIC Meetings

NYSCIC will hold regional meetings in the months ahead to discuss a variety of construction issues including Labor Law Reform, Workers'' Compensation Reform, and Economic Development issues. These meetings will give NYSCIC the opportunity to invite members as well as others who may not yet be involved. The schedule for the regional meetings are as follows:

*locations to be determined

NYSCIC Legislative Reception - - April 18, 2005

The New York State Construction Industry Council will be holding a reception on the evening of April 18, 2005 to discuss Labor Law Reform. Members are also encouraged to participate in lobbying visits the following day. More information concerning this event is soon to follow.

Next Meeting

NYSCIC will hold its next meeting on May 10, 2005 from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm at the Business Council offices in Albany.