State Budget Recap: What You Need to Know

On Sunday, Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature passed the state’s budget for the new fiscal year. The budget totaled $175.5 billion, an increase of about $7.2 billion from last years budget.

Key Things Kept Out of the Budget

Expansion of Prevailing Wage on Private Work

  • We were successful at keeping an expansion of prevailing wage on private work out of this year’s budget. The bill would have applied prevailing wage to all projects that receive any form of public assistance.
  • Though this is a big victory for the Chapter, we ask that you continue to engage your legislators with calls and letters regarding this issue. We will have to continue to relentlessly fight the expansion of prevailing wage until the end of session.

Legalization of Recreational Marijuana

  • We also succeeded in keeping the legalization of recreational marijuana out of this years budget. The Chapter will continue to push for language that would protect contractors right to maintain a drug-free workplace.
  • Like the prevailing wage bill, this issue isn’t going away just because we kept it from the budget. We will continue to battle this throughout the rest of session.

What Was in the Budget?

Permanent Property Tax Cap

  • Property taxes will cap at a 2% increase. This cap was passed in 2011 but with this budget, the tax has now become permanent.

Democracy Agenda

  • Mandates three hours of paid time off for all New Yorkers to vote on Election Day. It enacts online voter registration, funds e-poll books, and expands the voting hours to 6 AM in Upstate.

MTA Reforms, Financing, New Taxes

  • The MTA is now required to develop a reorganization plan by June, modifies MTA Board appointments to align with appointing authority, requires the MTA to undergo an independent forensic audit and efficiency review, calls for a construction review unit made up of outside experts to review major projects, implements a 20-year capital needs assessment beginning in 2023, increases the competitive procurement threshold from $100,000 to $1 million, establishes a 30-day review notice for comptroller contract approval, and requires public reporting on MTA performance metrics.
  • The budget also requires any Capital Program Review Board member who does not approve of the MTA capital plan to issue a written explanation of their veto, and gives the MTA an opportunity to respond and revise the plan so the member may withdraw their veto.
  • The budget will also allow the MTA to debar any contractor that exceeds 10 percent of the contract cost or time on a capital construction project. The Enacted Budget requires any MTA capital project over $25 million to use design-build, saving the MTA time and money.
  • Central Business District Tolling- Puts electronic tolling devices on the perimeter of the Central Business District which consists of streets south of 60th street in Manhattan
  • Progressive Mansion Tax- tax on mansions with a combined top rate of 4.15% on the sale of properties valued at $25 million or above
  • Internet Sales Tax- collection of required sales taxes by internet marketplace providers
  • Dedicated Lock Box- Purpose is to ensure that 100% of the revenue generated goes to the MTA capital budget and prohibits the use of the money for non-capital purposes

Janus Protections Expanded

  • The budget adds new safeguards for public sector unions and guarantees the right to organize and collectively bargain.

Increases Education Funding and Equity

  • An increase of over $1 billion in education aid will bring total education funding to a record $27.9 billion, with over 70 percent of the increased funding going to poorer districts. School districts would be required to report how they provide appropriate funding for certain schools.

Taxpayer Financed Campaigns

  • The budget creates a public financing commission that will have the power to implement public campaign financing for legislative and statewide offices, authorizing up to $100 million annually in public funds.

Plastic Bag Ban

  • The budget bans the use of single-use plastic bags. Customers can opt in for a 5-cent paper bag instead of the standard plastic bags.

Affordable Care Act Protections

  • Codifies ACA provisions and the New York State Health Exchange into law to ensure that no matter what happens at the federal level, the provisions are protected in New York

Invests in Clean Drinking Water

  • An additional $500 million will be invested in clean water infrastructure, building on the State’s historic $2.5 billion investment.

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Shield taxpayers from PLAs

By |April 18th, 2019|Categories: News, Statewide|

A PLA is a pre-hire agreement requiring the workforce comes from local union hiring halls. However, unions only account for 21 percent of the construction workforce across New York, with that number being even smaller in the Lake George area. PLAs effectively bar the majority of local contractors and their workers from bidding and winning work that their own tax dollars fund. PLAs do nothing more than eliminate competition for unions, ensuring their contractors win work, and decrease the number of bids on a project, driving taxpayer expenses.

ABC President Brian Sampson’s Statement Regarding the Expansion of Prevailing Wage

By |March 27th, 2019|Categories: News, Statewide|

The reports are clear. The use of prevailing wage on projects does not improve the quality of the project nor does it make them safer. Instead, it means projects will cost 15-30% more and any financial support will need to be increased to make those projects feasible. We shouldn’t be making New York more expensive.

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

By |March 26th, 2019|Categories: News, Statewide|

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 25, 2019 Contact: Amanda Bertram [...]

Ogdensburg Won’t Save Money With a PLA

By |January 31st, 2019|Categories: News, Statewide, Uncategorized|

For years, the city of Ogdensburg has struggled to gather funding for improvements to the wastewater treatment plant. Now, with the final financing pieces falling into place, the spendthrift City Council has voted to irresponsibly waste tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars to conduct a study to consider using a Project Labor Agreement: a discriminatory, pre-hire agreement with labor organizations requiring that the workforce comes from the local union hiring hall.

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2019-04-03T12:04:43-04:00