2006 CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY COUNCIL LEGISLATIVE PROGRAM
Staff Contact: Frank Kerbein
Following identifies The Business Council's priority issues to be addressed by the Committees and Councils during 2006.
Safety and Liability
Create a fair and equitable civil justice system by:
- Supporting efforts to encourage the availability and affordability
of liability insurance.
- Supporting amendments to Sections 240 and 241 of the Labor
Law to clarify the responsibilities and liabilities of owners,
contractors and others in the construction process.
- Creating a statute of repose for engineers, architects and contractors.
Also, support legislation and regulation which would:
- Promulgate comprehensive written rules and regulations implementing
the Voluntary Safety Program (established through the 1996 Workers'
Comp Reform Act) which would increase workplace safety by allowing
employers with premiums greater than $5,000/year and safety mods
below 1.3 who voluntarily establish certified safety and loss
prevention programs to be eligible to receive a 5 percent premium
credit for up to two years.
- Support legislation which would allow all industries (including
construction) to be eligible for the Safety Premium Credit program.
This program allows companies to take 5 percent of their investment
in new technologies and apply it as a credit against workers'
comp premiums up to 15 percent of their total premium for three
- Support legislation which would allow safety groups insured through the State Insurance Fund to be eligible for safety incentive credits.
Workforce Development and Apprenticeship Training Programs
Encourage public and public/private endeavors to meet the employment demands of the industry by preparing our future workforce through workforce development programs. This would include:
- Establishing fair and equitable state support of pre-apprentice
and trainee programs.
- Requiring the state approve qualified unilateral apprentice
programs even where the employer is a participant in a Joint
Apprenticeship Training Committee.
- Encourage grant programs administered by private sector grantees.
- Encourage the use of prudent bonding for "hard dollar" construction.
Such bonding should be financed with specific revenue sources
not impacting the State's general fund obligations.
- Ensure that sufficient capital dollars are invested to maintain a safe, environmentally sound infrastructure, conducive to economic development.
Regulatory and Administrative
- Support the promulgation of comprehensive rules and regulations
implementing the premium payroll cap that was established by
legislation in 1998. Also, produce a compliance manual for affected
- Require the Department of Labor to promulgate reasonable and
equitable comprehensive written rules, regulations, and definitions
for Section 220 of the Labor Law.
- Encourage better definition of sales tax exemptions and when
are they applicable. Also, production of a "how to comply" manual
- Support the promulgation of comprehensive written rules, regulations, and definitions for what an "Independent Contractor" is.
- Support legislation which would cap the length of time an injured
worker can collect permanent partial disability benefits.
- Support prohibiting of workers' compensation benefits if an
employee is intoxicated from alcohol and/or an illegal substance,
or is in the act of committing a crime at the time of injury.
- Support the adoption of objective medical guidelines.
- Support legislation which would require public owners to pay
contractors for delay damages upon documentation that public
owners' action led to damages.
- Ensure that payments due contractors by public owners be expedited
regardless of untimely budgets and insist that budgetary appropriations
be regarded as promissory. If need be, pursue a legislative fix
to the problem to ensure that contractors are paid for their
- Enhance the process by which payments are made upon the completion
of public works projects. Encouragement of "quick payment" to
contractors through technological advances, i.e. electronic transfer
- Oppose the extension of retainage beyond substantial completion.
- Support legislation which would require public owners to provide
expeditious dispute resolution.
- Support legislation which would result in an alternative dispute
resolution process between contractors and public owners that
is fair, independent and timely.
- Insist that the contract processes be expedited upon award.
Competitive Bidding/Government Competition/Preferential Bidding
- Oppose the expanded use of state and municipal agencies' staff
in the construction management profession, and in their associated
construction trades. Maintain, if not strengthen, the competitive
bidding laws by ensuring that procurement policy not be adversely
- Oppose legislation which would increase the incidence of unfair
- Oppose legislation which would create preference through: domicile
requirements, preferred bid lists, licensure requirements, percentage
of lowest bid, or any other mechanism which allows preferential
treatment of one class of bidder over another on public works
- Oppose legislation that authorizes alternative project delivery
systems on public work without objective criteria that preserves
a fair and open process. Oppose public entities attempting to
circumvent the competitive bidding process through the use of "contracting
in" and "force account" within the construction industry. Ensure
that the continued and expanded use of emergency contracts does
not circumvent the competitive bidding process. Support limiting
the use of inmates or other taxpayer funded entities on public
works projects, other than for minor maintenance work.
- Support the selection of private sector architects and engineers on all public works projects based on Section 136-a of the State Finance law.
- Support capital project appropriations which would establish
mentoring, training, and/or revolving loan programs to allow
equal access to the construction, and related trades, of minority,
women, and small business entrepreneurs. Support efforts which
would encourage increased opportunities for participation of
available and competitive minority, women, and small owned business
enterprises as well as economic opportunity for minority, women,
(M/WBEs) and small business enterprises (SBEs) in the construction
- Encourage uniform statewide implementation of Article 15-A, which promotes use of minority and women-owned business enterprises on public contracts.
- Support legislation which would permit mechanic's liens to
be filed against the real property when private improvements
are situated on publicly owned property. Oppose legislation which
would require "wrap-up" insurance and surety bonds on public
- Oppose onerous mandates or unnecessary licensing requirements.