Legislative And Public Agency Issues
As we head towards the holidays, I would like to update you on STA activities and progress in the areas of state legislation and public agency relations.
On the state legislative front, the STA’s priority bill for 2022 (S.8844/A.1019) dealing with the issue of material cost escalation is still awaiting action by Governor Hochul. This bill which passed both state legislative chambers in early June would allow certain pre-pandemic public works contracts with State agencies, to be adjusted where material prices have escalated as a result of the tumultuous market supply conditions associated with COVID-19’s impact on the national and world supply chain, specifically as it affected the distribution of construction materials and related commodities.
The STA and our industry partners have been in touch with the Governor’s office and legislative sponsors to advocate for the Governor’s approval of the bill before the end of the year. There will be more to report on this legislation in the coming weeks.
In addition, there appears to finally be movement on the implementation of the STA’s 2021 priority bill that called for forming a State Advisory Council to study state construction contract provisions and language among other things. The STA which took the lead on this legislation has had a representative nominated by the State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. This Commission is expected to begin meeting and establishing its agenda in early 2023 finally.
On the public agency front, the STA has recently been meeting with the New York City School Construction Authority (STA) regarding payment issues and inspection processes. An additional meeting will be held by the end of the year in order to press this agency on the hardships being experienced by subcontractors as a result of a problematic change order process.
In mid-December, the STA will also be resuming its quarterly meetings with the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) to press that agency on payment issues negatively impacting our STA membership. The STA will also be looking to set up a meeting with the New York City Department of Design and Construction in the coming weeks in order to explore subcontractor payment issues with that mayoral agency.
The STA Change Order Work Group will also be reviewing the implementation results of its meetings and discussions with DASNY over the past sixteen months. These meetings were focused on allowable overhead and other subcontractor costs associated with change orders at this state agency. There will hopefully be good news to report on progress made with this agency in this area in the next month or two.
The STA will keep our members posted on progress in these legislative and public agency relations areas as future events warrant.