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2021 New York State Session Recap

The New York State Legislature concluded session on June 11th. The Senate and Assembly passed 892 bills, many of which will be sent to Governor Cuomo for signature, veto or Chapter Amendments between now and the end of the year.

We have provided, below, a summary of key legislation coming out of session this year that will impact you as an ABC member. We broke it down into two categories: “Legislative Successes” and “The Fight Continues.”

Our team will continue to monitor these bills and keep you advised of those delivered to the Governor for his consideration in the coming weeks.

ABC’s Legislative Successes:

  • Negotiated Improvements to the Hero Act
    • The Chapter was one of the only advocacy groups invited to the negotiating table to make key changes to the bill to lessen the impact on our members
    • Click the following link for a detailed summary of the changes ABC successfully advocated for: ABC-Advocates-to-Change-HERO-Act.pdf (
    • Keep an eye out for our Chapter’s upcoming webinar to help members understand and comply with this new law
  • Blocked Carlos’ Law
    • If passed, this bill would have made any person that is an owner, developer, construction supervisor, or a worksite safety supervisor criminally liable of murder or manslaughter in relation to crimes involving the death or injury of a worker
  • Stopped the Roadway Excavation Quality Assurance Act
    • If passed, this bill would have created the "Roadway Excavation Quality Assurance Act” which relates to workers on excavations and provides that utility companies or their contractors shall pay the prevailing wage on projects for which a permit to use or open a street is required to be issue
    • The bill would also force contractors to use "competent workers" however, the Legislature failed to define what a "competent worker" even is
  • Passed S.5231 to Study the Scaffold Law (Labor Law 240)
    • New York State will now conduct a study to examine the Scaffold Law as it relates to the increasing costs of insurance premiums and the lack of availability of insurance coverage for affordable housing projects
  • Stopped the Extended Producer Responsibility Act
    • If passed, the bill would have completely changed the way New York handles recycling by putting the cost burden back on the producers of certain materials. This would have resulted in a significant increase in costs to the end users, the people of New York State
  • Fought to Secure Grants for Small Business
    • The Chapter successfully advocated for over $800 million to be used to help small businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and the mandatory state shut down

The Fight Continues:

  • Expansion of Prevailing Wage to the Hauling and Delivery of Aggregates & Construction Materials
    • ABC has submitted a letter to the Governor as well as met with his office to push for a veto of the bill
    • The Chapter continues to monitor this bill
  • Wage Theft Legislation Passed Both Houses
    • ABC anticipates this will be sent to the Governor for signature soon
    • Holds general contractors liable for unpaid wages by subcontractors; allows for a 3 year look back period
    • Allows for third parties to bring claims forward on behalf of workers
    • ABC is pushing for a veto of this bill
  • Ban of Coal Tar Products
    • The use and manufacturing of Coal Tar paving products will be banned
    • ABC has asked the Governor to veto this bill as there isn’t a viable replacement of this product in certain situations
    • ABC is working with the Governor’s office to make changes to the proposal if we cannot achieve a full veto
  • Phase 3 of the Rochester City School District Modernization Program
    • The Legislature passed the bill needed to complete Phase 3 of the Rochester City School Modernization Program
    • ABC worked with the Senate bill sponsor throughout the entire process
    • Assembly sponsor hijacked the bill and passed it without the changes we negotiated
    • Has very strict apprenticeship language as well as allows for the city to adopt the PLA used during Phase 1
    • ABC is currently working with the Senate sponsor and the Governor’s office to make changes to the bill that will benefit our members and allow them to win this work
  • Syracuse School Modernization Program
    • The Legislature passed a bill that will allow the City of Syracuse to adopt a Project Labor Agreement on Phase 2 of the Syracuse School Modernization Construction
    • ABC has submitted a letter to the Governor to remove the PLA language from this bill and allow local merit shop contractors the ability to win this work
  • Legalization of Recreational Adult-Use Marijuana
    • Prior to the budget passing in April, the State passed the Legalization of Adult Use Recreational Marijuana
    • The Governor did sign this bill into law
    • This, in combination with the Scaffold Law, is a liability nightmare for contractors
    • Click Here to watch our webinar on the Legalization of Marijuana and how to set up your handbook

ABC’s Empire State Chapter is the voice of the merit shop community in New York State.  We are, unapologetically, in the Capitol and at local Town Halls fighting for your right to continue to run your business the way you choose.

Although we continue to make headway, there will always be more to do in a state that continuously makes it harder to do business. Absent your involvement in our grassroots advocacy efforts, the State will continue to pass bad legislation that negatively impacts you, your employees, and your business. The Chapter’s Public Affairs Team has created many simple and easy ways for you to get more involved with ABC’s advocacy efforts.

We’ve made it easy for you to download the ABC Action App. It works on both IPhone’s and Androids, simply click the corresponding link below to download it:

App Store and Google Play
Link not working? Simply search “ABC Action App” in your app store to download it

Through the ABC Action app, users can send letters to their elected officials with just one click, receive instant notifications for grassroots and legislative alerts, access the voting records of their representatives on key ABC issues, find detailed contact information for federal and state lawmakers and check out state-specific policy information in the Merit Shop Scorecard.

To find out how to get more involved, please contact Tanner Schmidt:

Tanner Schmidt
Public Affairs
Cell: (585) 730-1814