Thursday, February 14, 2019

Push for prevailing wage gathers steam in Albany. Lawmakers promote two bills that would steer work toward unions.

Crain's New York Business reports:
State legislators are pushing a pair of bills that would mandate the prevailing wage on private construction projects receiving public subsidies, a move that would dramatically alter the finances of many affordable housing developments and a laundry list of other projects that rely on city and state money.

With Democrats in control of both legislative chambers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo expressing support last month for a vague but sweeping labor mandate, some form of prevailing-wage law seems likely to pass this year. In New York City, that would deliver a big win for construction unions, which have long sought to gain a larger market share through legislation.

"Construction with public subsidies should be subject to the prevailing wage so they're built right, they're built fairly, they're built union," Cuomo said during his Jan. 15 State of the State address. "And that's long overdue.

"Let's get it passed this session, and let's show our brothers and sisters in organized labor who may be timid, who may be quiet, who may be shy," the governor said, perhaps facetiously, "we're with you anyway."

Since then, the governor has been mum on what exactly he has in mind. His office said he was not referring in the speech to any particular piece of legislation. State lawmakers, however, wasted no time. Days after the speech, they introduced two bills that would dramatically expand current requirements.
The rent-seeking unions look to make New York even more expansive for taxpayers.