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An ABC Member's Guide to The 2023 New York State Legislative Session

The 2023 New York Legislative Session has officially ended, the Senate went home officially on June 11th, and the Assembly wrapped up voting yesterday. It's vital for you as business owners to understand what happened during this legislative session and how that is going to impact your business and your employees.

Our Government Affairs Team has made it easy for you to access this information all in one spot below. The guide contains the following:

  • ABC Empire State Chapter President Brian Sampson's Statement to the Media Regarding the End of the Session
  • An Overview of ABC's Priority Bills
  • Important bills that passed after the budget was passed
  • A full guide of the enacted FY 23-34 New York State Budget

This webpage will constantly be updated with new information and helpful tips on how to navigate some of the new laws on the books. To access this guide, please click the button below:

We Fought For You Every Step of the Way

From the start of the session in January until the final vote in June, we never stopped advocating for our members. As a result, we had one of our more successful legislative sessions in the past few years. 

How We Fought For You:

  • Our team tracked and monitored legislation from the moment it was introduced to the second it hit the floor for a vote. We were able to mobilize quickly when a bad bill was introduced, which was key to our success this year.
  • We had boots on the ground in Albany, meeting with elected officials regarding legislation that would impact the construction industry and our members. We had countless meetings with the legislature and their staff about these topics. 
  • ABC testified to leadership in both houses about the affordability crisis and the negative impact of PLA and Prevailing Wage mandates have on New York State 
  • ABC brought our members to Albany to share their concerns and fight against bad legislation at our annual state lobby day
  • In addition to these meetings, our team wrote countless letters, bill memos, and press pieces to support or block key pieces of legislation 

Statement on the End of the 2023 Legislative Session

The following Statement is attributed to Associated Builders & Contractors, Empire State Chapter President Brian Sampson: 

"Today was the final day of the 2023 Legislative Session. First, we want to start by thanking Assembly Leadership, where many harmful bills, such as the mandate of Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) on projects funded by the State University Construction Fund and multiple expansions of the state prevailing wage laws, failed to advance. These bills would have a profoundly negative impact on construction and drive the cost up for homeowners, businesses, and taxpayers.

However, our elected leaders failed to make New York more affordable. Nor did they address the housing crisis in an impactful way. They should have passed an extension of 421A, allowing developers to start and finish affordable housing projects. They should have also restricted the use of PLAs and the expansion of prevailing wage on renewable energy projects. Owners of these projects are already sounding the alarm about how much more expensive the projects will be in New York and how those costs will be passed on to the ratepayers. And as always, nothing was done to slow the escalation of general liability insurance rates, which can cause a small contractor to close up shop.

We need these issues addressed in 2024, whether in the budget or with stand-alone legislation.If the affordability crisis continues to deteriorate here in New York, we will continue to see people flee in record numbers for more affordable states. It's time for Albany to pass policies that will make things more affordable in New York, not less."

ABC Blocks Priority Legislation

As we approached the end of the session, the Government Affairs team identified a list of priority bills that we had to do everything we could to keep from passing. We focused our efforts on writing opposition memos and meeting with legislators and their staff to stop these harmful bills.

We are proud to say that through our efforts and with the support of our members, we've successfully blocked all of our end-of-session priority issues from passing. They are:

  • (S.5475A/A.373A) Prevailing Wage on all custom prefabrication work
    • Stuck in committee
  • (S.4668/A.5006) Expansion of Prevailing Wage to any project over $5 million that receives a penny of taxpayer support
    • Stuck in committee
  • (S.6050/A.5486) Project Labor Agreement Mandate on projects funded by the State University Construction Fund 
    • Passed the Senate, stuck in committee in Assembly
  • (S.5422/A.2512) Mandates that workers performing modular construction in New York City hold the same license as those working on the job site.
    • Passed the Senate but was not voted on by the Assembly
  • (S.2762/A.766) Creation of an employee lien for wage theft where employees could go after company owners' personal belongings
    • Stuck in committee
  • (S.1729/A.1669) Relates to coal tar and its use in pavement products
    • This bill passed the Senate but did not advance in the Assembly

The bills above either only passed one house or were never brought up for a vote. Please note that this doesn't mean they aren't still in play. Technically, the legislative session doesn't end until the end of the year, so that these bills could be voted on during a special legislative session. These bills will also be reintroduced next year, and we will have to fight to block them again.

What Bills Passed at the End of Session?

The following bills passed both houses and can be sent to the Governor to be signed into law at any time.

S.4887 Roadway Quality Excavation Act  

  • Requires contractors doing excavation work on an open street for a utlity company to pay preaviling wages to their workers
  • Includes compent contractor language will most likely lead to apprenticeship mandates on this type of work

S.4982/A.6604 Protects Employee Freedom of Speech & Conscience:

  • Prohibits employers from "coercing" employees into attending meetings related to politics or religious matters

S.1161/A.2034A Changes to Workers Compensation:

  • Increases compensation schedule in case of disability; provides that compensation after July 1, 2026, shall not be less than one-fifth of the New York state average weekly wage unless the employee's weekly wage is equal to or less than one-fifth the weekly wage, then they shall receive the entire amount.

S.6787A.6791/ Established a Construction Industry Advisory Council on Public Contracting Reform:

  • Creates a council to oversee public construction and make regulatory and legislative suggestions to "improve" the public work process in New York. It requires a report to be submitted 365 days after the first meeting of the council and the effectiveness of it. This is a concern because this council could use its platform to continue to push the union agenda.

S.1725A/A.4601A Provides for Protection of Certain Streams:

  • adds class C streams to the list of protected streams; exempts soil and water conservation districts that have an MOU with the Department of environmental conservation for certain permitting requirements.

S.1554B/A.4676A Creates a Temporary Commission to Conduct a Comprehensive Study on the Current Utilization of Paid Family Leave:

  • This commission will be able to make recommendations on how to increase access and expand this program

S.1873A/A.7295A Relates to the Max Number of Employees That a M/WBE Business May Have During a Declared State of Emergency:

  • Changes such maximum from three hundred employees to three hundred employees who work thirty or more hours per week over the period of fifty-two weeks for a total of 1,560 hours worked

Recap of the FY 23-24 New York State Budget

On Wednesday, May 3rd, Governor Hochul signed a $229B budget bill approved by the State Legislature the night before. This budget comes in over a month late, making it one of the latest budgets in over a decade. This year's budget is $9 billion more than last year's budget.

Below is a comprehensive guide for ABC Empire State Members to better understand what's in the budget and how that might impact your business. This budget recap does not contain everything found in the state budget. Instead, it's tailored to specifically focus on issues that are important to contractors operating in New York: