New York State Construction Industry Council Update
November 30, 2017
Staff Contact: Johnny Evers
GAC Planning Session & Business Council's Open House
2018 GAC Planning Session
Thursday, December 7, 2017
Renaissance Albany Hotel
Albany, New York
Our 2018 Government Affairs Planning session will be Thursday, December 7, from 12 to 4 p.m. at the Albany Renaissance. Please register online here. Our lunch speaker will be EJ McMahon from the Empire Center, who will be addressing prospects for the state’s FY 2018 budget, the impact of federal tax reform, and related topics. Legislative speakers include Shawn MacKinnon, NYS Senate Finance Secretary, and others. You will also receive briefings from Business Council staff on our proposed legislative agenda for 2018. We hope you will join us for this important session!
New York State Construction Industry Council (NYSCIC) Update
I am sending out this update to provide all of our construction members information on a few issues of importance to our committee and the meeting minutes of the last NYSCIC gathering.
- November 13, 2017 Meeting Minutes - On November 13 the Construction Council met in Albany to review several legislative and regulatory issues. These issues included updates on 2017 Workers’ Comp Reform package, scaffold law repeal updates, the State’s MWBE requirements and the Administration’s recently released Disparity Report, and Executive Order 162. The meeting minutes can be found here.
- 2018 Draft Legislative Agenda - The Council also discussed the 2018 Draft Legislative Agenda. The draft agenda can be found here. Any feedback, comments or suggestions should be sent to Johnny Evers.
- MWBE / Disparity Study Issue: Times Union Editorial "MWBE Bar, or Obstacle?" - On November 25, the Albany Times Union published an editorial on the State’s mandated MWBE goals. The editorial, “Times Union Editorial: MWBE Bar, or Obstacle?”, outlined some of the issues that The Business Council and our Construction Council have been following. The article correctly points out that first, “contractors raise the question of whether the policy is legal: The 30 percent requirement does not appear in state law, but is strongly encouraged by Cuomo's Executive Chamber to be put into bids for contracts”. Many have been asking this question and upon what basis/guidance the 30% goal is being decided. The editorial points out that “guidance differs from what state law and regulations actually require, according to the Albany-based Associated General Contractors of New York State. The group, which represents building and highway construction interests, says agencies are supposed to examine the individual circumstances for contracts, such as where a certain project is being built. Those requirements, according to the contractors, came in the wake of a 1989 U.S. Supreme Court case that set legal limits for creating MWBE programs.” In some cases it was determined that the 30% could not be reached but was later included in the contract anyway; in other cases no studies were performed in order to ascertain what would be the goal based on factors. The Business Council is following this issue due to the expiration of the Executive Law (15-A) governing the “participation by minority group members and women with respect to state contracts.” Some concerns have been raised over the data contained in the Disparity Study, part of which claims, incorrectly according to many in the construction industry, that over 50% of all construction contractors are actually MWBEs. The Business Council also submitted an Amicus brief in the lawsuit filed by AGC to obtain the records involved in State Agency construction contract letting in regards to MWBE goals. Additionally, the Assembly will be hosting a hearing on the Disparity Study on December 5 in Albany.
John T. Evers, PhD
Director of Government Affairs
The Business Council of New York State
111 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12211
Tel. 518-465-7511 x 204