In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, New York State added a major prevailing wage expansion into the enacted state budget. This decision, long opposed by the Buffalo Niagara Partnership and statewide business leaders, will make it even more difficult to attract private sector investment to a state already burdened with high taxes and extensive regulations.
In unprecedented times, as the state continues to roil from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Governor and State Legislature did enact a new state budget for FY2021. Given the events swirling around us, the fact that the budget was passed after the April first deadline seemed inconsequential.
Earlier this month, Governor Cuomo unveiled his 2020-2021 Executive Budget proposal, detailing his priorities and outlining his agenda for another legislative session in Albany.
A broad coalition has come out in opposition to the expansion of prevailing wage applied to private projects that receive any form of public support.
Once again this year, Albany lawmakers are seeking to impose prevailing wage on private construction projects receiving most forms of state or local financial support. And once again this year the Buffalo Niagara Partnership is helping fight back against this job-killing proposal.
New York State is home to some of the highest construction costs in the country. The state’s prevailing wage and scaffold laws are two reasons why. That is why the Buffalo Niagara Partnership calls for Scaffold Law reform and opposition to the expansion of prevailing wage in our 2018 Advocacy Agenda.
The 2017 New York State Legislative session ended with little legislating, and that is not a bad thing for Buffalo Niagara employers. Compared to the busy and extended budget negotiations earlier this year, the end of session seemed sedate (As I write this, Governor Cuomo has called the Legislature back to Albany to address a few outstanding issues, chief among them mayoral control of New York City schools). Here are the highlights:
As part of our Government Affairs programming, we kicked-off our first of two Capital Conversation events for 2017 with a look at New York’s prevailing wage mandate and its impact on taxpayers and economic development. E.J. McMahon, founder and research director of the Empire Center came to Buffalo to detail his new report: Prevailing Waste: New York’s Costly Public Works Pay Mandate. Our event coincides with an effort underway in Albany to expand the prevailing wage mandate by attaching it some private projects.
A new report by the Empire Center confirms what many have believed for years – New York State’s prevailing wage law drives up construction costs as much as 25 percent, squandering precious tax dollars in the process.