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DELAY DAMAGES LEGISLATION NEXT STEPS

By Hank Kita, STA Executive Director

As we progress through the summer, the STA continues to work towards the enactment of its Delay Damages legislation (S.6686/A7945-A) which was approved by the State Senate and Assembly in June.  The Delay Damages bill was the priority in the STA’s legislative agenda in 2018.  It now remains for Governor Cuomo to sign the legislation by the end of the year for it to become law.

A.7945-A/S.6686 provides for the fair and uniform treatment of all contractor delay damages claims.  In developing and advocating for the Delay Damages legislation, the STA put forth the premise that all public construction contracts in New York should be uniform and equitable in their treatment of delay damages occurrences, where the delay in performance is not the fault of either the general contractor or subcontractor.  The New York State Office of General Services (OGS) voluntarily modified its own standard contract in 1996 to allow for delay damages in state construction contracts where the delay was the fault of the contractor or subcontractor.  Using language virtually identical to that found in present OGS contracts, A.7945-A/S.6686 would simply require similar provisions regarding delay damages in all public works contracts.

In order to persuade Governor Cuomo to sign this legislation, the STA recently convened a coalition of 17 construction contractor organizations from around the state to develop a strategy of advocacy for this bill.  Both subcontractor and general contractor associations are included in this coalition.  In addition to seeking a meeting with the Governor’s Office to discuss and advocate for the Delay Damages bill, the coalition will also look to enlist member contractors to send letters in support of this legislation to the Governor.  In this regard, STA members should be “on the lookout” for further solicitations of support from my office in the coming weeks.  As the direction of the Governor’s deliberations become clearer in the coming weeks and months, the aforementioned coalition will consider additional strategies in getting the Delay Damages bill signed before the end of this year.

With some public agencies and entities sure to oppose our bill, the battle for the Governor’s approval here will be uphill.  It is only through a coordinated effort such as the one being organized by the coalition and the STA, that this much needed Delay Damages bill will become law.  I will keep you, our STA members, updated regularly on this legislative issue.