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ABC Empire State Chapter President Brian Sampson’s Statement on Governor Hochul’s Budget Address

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

We applaud Governor Hochul's calls to invest in new affordable housing projects and incentivize economic development. She must remember that construction in New York is already too expensive. New York ranked as one of the country's worst business environments for construction by the 2023 Building America Scorecard. To move New York forward, Governor Hochul must reduce construction costs by avoiding policies that increase costs, such as Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) and prevailing wages. New Yorkers desperately need new affordable housing units. Governor Hochul cannot fall into the same trap as California by mandating PLAs and prevailing wages on these projects. Doing so will mean fewer units will be built. In 2021, the RAND Corporation released a study analyzing the effects of PLAs on building affordable units. The report concluded that PLAs caused a 14.5 percent increase in construction costs which caused nearly 1,000 additional units to go unbuilt. That cannot happen here. To build the 800,000 new units the Governor proposed, New York must reduce construction costs. In addition to bringing down construction costs, economic development should be controlled by individuals whom the voters chose to represent them, not the Public Subsidy board, an unelected group of only 13 people. ABC and our members look forward to working with our leaders to meet these goals and build a better New York.