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April 12, 2000

Council asks chambers, associations to urge Wicks Law reform

The Business Council is urging executives of local chambers and business associations to contact lawmakers and express strong support for the Governor's proposal to reform the Wicks Law.

"Governor Pataki's proposals to relieve the costly Wicks Law burden on local governments and school districts are still on the table as Senate and Assembly conference committees negotiate the budget," Business Council President Daniel B. Walsh told chamber and association executives in an "urgent action memo" sent Friday, April 7.

"If you take action in the next few days, we may finally be successful in our long fight for reform," he added. "We can win the fight for real mandate reform this year."

The Governor has proposed amending the Wicks Law to exempt all school district construction and most municipal projects with value below $2 million for the downstate region (Dutchess, Nassau, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Suffolk, Westchester counties and New York City) or $1 million for the remainder of the state, Walsh wrote.

These exemptions would increase to $4 million and $2 million, respectively, in 2002, and to $8 million and $4 million in 2005, he added.

Walsh urged local business leaders to telephone or fax their local legislators as well as members of budget conference subcommittees as soon as possible to urge the Legislature to include Wicks reform in this year's budget.