Joint Statement – ABC and Unshackle Upstate: Assemblyman Bronson Dodges Call for Transparency in Sponsored Prevailing Wage Bill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 25, 2019
Contact: Amanda Bertram (518) 469-1507
At a recent press event, Assemblyman Harry Bronson (D-Rochester) referred to questions about how the State’s Department of Labor calculates prevailing wage a “deflection” to his efforts to expand the definition of public work to include private development projects.

In response Brian Sampson, President of the Empire Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors and Executive Director of Unshackle Upstate Michael Kracker released the following joint statement:

“Assemblyman Bronson’s flippant dismissal of legitimate concerns regarding how New York’s prevailing wage is calculated is just another reason why it would be deeply irresponsible to hastily include this proposal in the budget. This type of disregard for transparency may be standard practice in Albany, but taxpayers, business owners and hardworking New Yorkers deserve better.

We have consistently pointed out that this deeply flawed proposal will dramatically increase construction costs and result in less construction and fewer jobs. If the
Assemblyman and other supporters disagree, they should open up the books and allow taxpayers to see what they’re getting for their money.”

What New York Press is saying about Prevailing Wage:

The New York Daily News Editorial Board: The price of prevailing wage: Requiring far higher wages for affordable housing development will inflate public costs or depress the number of units

AMNY Editorial Board: Don’t rush a new law for prevailing wage on construction projects

New York Post Editorial Board: Naked politics is driving Albany Democrats

Newsday Editorial Board: “Expanding prevailing wage requirements is best left out of the budget…”

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On Thursday, Cuomo declared a bill expanding a "prevailing wage" requirement that would apply to larger construction projects likely dead. The law would have expanded the definition of "public works" in New York to include projects receiving more than 30 percent of their funding from the government – making those projects eligible for the wage requirement. Powerful building trades unions, who are among Cuomo's most significant political supporters, had pushed the mandate this session.

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The new Bronson prevailing wage bill is another sad attempt by the people we elect to do nothing more than appease the unions at the expense of the taxpayers.

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A lack of public hearings on the issue and the rush to get the bill passed by the end of session also means that final details of the bill will be determined behind closed doors, according to Brian Sampson, president of Empire Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors. “The potential impact of this bill, as drafted, could stop economic development in parts of this state for a long time,” he said. “Why aren't we talking about this bill more openly, and having more discussions and dialogue about it, instead of wrapping it up with a pretty little bow in the ‘Big Ugly?’”

Union Requirement Inflates Cost of State Fair Bridge

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A shortage of bids on the New York State Fairgrounds pedestrian bridge project will leave New Yorkers paying more, but getting less. When plans for the project were released with an accompanying project labor agreement (PLA), the playing field narrowed from 20 companies interested in the project to just two submitting bids, with the lowest bid coming in well in excess of $1 million over engineering estimates. Why the drastic decrease in competition and increase in costs? The answer can be found in three simple letters: PLA.

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2019-03-26T08:35:54-04:00