Sen. Martin Dilan has proposed legislation that would force the state to pay contractors who are repairing state-owned roads and bridges.
Gov. David Paterson stopped payments on those projects months ago in reaction to the state’s escalating fiscal crisis. The move forced some contractors to question whether they could afford to keep paying workers, and drew a lawsuit from an association of contractor groups. A number of high-profile projects were put in jeopardy.
Dilan’s legislation, S.7686 makes all capital contracts “binding liabilities” and will have to be honored by the state.
“New York made a commitment to contractors that come construction season the money would be there for them to conduct the work they agreed to do. For us to renege on that agreement jeopardizes thousands of jobs and the safety of all New Yorkers,” said Dilan in a statement.
Here is the full release from Dilan’s office:
Albany, N.Y.—A measure to assure that New York’s contractual obligations to the thousands of construction crews toiling on road and bridge sites statewide are met, has been proposed by Senator Martin Malavé Dilan (D-Brooklyn).
S.7686 authorizes the continued payment of capital construction contracts. Under this legislation all capital contracts will be binding liabilities, and will be required to be honored.
“New York made a commitment to contractors that come construction season the money would be there for them to conduct the work they agreed to do. For us to renege on that agreement jeopardizes thousands of jobs and the safety of all New Yorkers,” said Senator Dilan, Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee.
Since April 1, New York has operated without a budget, relying instead on emergency spending measures to pay its expenses. These liabilities can and have included public employee payroll, social security contributions and aide to localities. The only capital funding proposed under recent extenders include projects funded solely through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
As each extender came before the Senate, Senator Dilan asked that Governor David Paterson include all capital projects, whether funded through ARRA, Federal or State coffers. Only recently, capital project funding in New York was extended to all federally funded capital projects.
However, approximately 80 percent of these federally funded construction projects currently let by the New York State Department of Transportation require some form of state match in order to qualify for the remaining federal dollars.
“These federally funded projects have helped shore up tens of thousands of construction jobs across the state. Without the state’s match, the work, federal or state-funded, dries up,” said Senator Dilan. “Transportation infrastructure is one of the state’s greatest investments. And given the current fiscal crisis, any opportunity to fund projects that protect the public and employs its workforce is the right course of action.”By David King on May 3, 2010, 10:02 pm
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