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For Release — Dec. 23, 2010

Business Council says Gov. Paterson's veto of job-killing wage mandate good for New York

ALBANY— “Gov. David Paterson's announcement that he will veto a job-killing wage mandate bill is good news for New York's economy. The bill would have cost every New Yorker more in energy costs and taxes,” said Kenneth Adams, president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc. “In addition this irresponsible legislation would have set a dangerous precedent by expanding prevailing wage mandates to private sector employers not involved in public projects.”

If the Governor did not veto this bill it would have expanded the state's prevailing wage laws by categorizing privately owned natural gas and electric corporations as “public agencies” thus, requiring them to pay the prevailing wage rate to any service worker – even those not directly employed by the company. It also would have set a precedent by expanding this law to the private sector when there is no relationship between state resources and the payment of prevailing wage. This legislation would have increased energy costs for every New Yorker.

In addition, because this legislation expanded the categories for which prevailing wages must be paid, costs would have been significantly increased to the State as well as to every local government. This is another unfunded mandate that governments cannot afford to absorb. For organizations created solely to improve New York's local economies, such as business improvement districts, these increased labor costs would have diminished their ability to contribute to the State's economic recovery.

“This bill represented a huge job-killing mandate that New York's businesses and government cannot afford,” said Adams.

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