STA Legislative Update February/March 2023
New York State
- Capital Reform Task Force
The STA joined with Comptroller Lander, Deputy Mayor Joshi, DDC Commissioner Tom Foley, City officials and other members of the Mayor’s Capital Process Reform Task Force in Albany on February 27 to advocate for inclusion of all 9 of the Task Force’s recommendations that requ
ired state legislation to implement in this year’s state budget. Governor Hochul’s Executive Budget included only 4 of the 9 task recommendations: Electronic Bidding, Alternative Project Delivery, OCIP/CCIP Authorization, and increasing the MWBE discretionary purchase threshold. Among those initiatives left out of the budget is the creation of a New York State Insurance Fund pilot program (the Small Contractors Relief Act) originally proposed by Arthur Rubenstein, chair of the STA Legislative Committee. The STA is working with the City to advance this legislative proposal.
- Material Price Escalation
The STA continues to advocate for material price relief for subcontractors harmed by the spike in material prices in 2020 and 2021, submitting testimony at the Joint Legislative Budget Hearing on General Government and Local Government on February 16th on the need for equitable relief to help subcontractors recover from the spike in material prices; spearheading an industry letter in support of material price reliefr; and meeting with the Governor’s staff and members of the Assembly and Senate in the hope of moving this critical issue forward. In response to this outreach the Senate included the material price bill language in their one-house budget proposal released on March 14th. The proposal is problematic as it only covers projects bid to state agencies and public authorities prior to April 2020 for materials purchased after March 2020, thereby excluding projects bid in 2021.
- COVID Paid Sick Leave
President Biden declared an end to the COVID emergency effective May 11th. The STA spearheaded an industry-wide letter signed by 31 different associations to Governor Hochul, and members of the Senate and Assembly seeking a sunset of the COVID Paid Sick Leave law and met with legislative leaders in support of ending this continuing and unnecessary financial obligation.
- Workers Compensation Calculation of Occupational Disease
The STA met with the New York Compensation Insurance Rating Board in January and followed up, at NYCIRB’s recommendation with the Department of Financial Services in February. We are hopeful that the impact of Occupational Disease claims on a firm’s EMR can be resolved through administrative action. Additional data from STA members on occupational disease claims from a worker who was employed by them for a short time period would be helpful in explaining the scope of the problem and advancing this issue.