Legislative Alert: January 18, 2019

President's Message

The State Budget Presentation Includes Prevailing Rate

This week Governor Cuomo unveiled his 2019-2020 State of the State/Budget proposal. This not only puts forth the state spending plan but outlined important policy goals for the coming months. This year’s presentation included many vital labor priorities including mention of prevailing rate on public works projects. 

We applaud the Governor for bringing up the prevailing rate issue in the State of the State/Budget message. The New York State Constitution requires that on public works projects labor laws ensure prevailing rate, apprenticeship and other labor standards are in place. 

Over the years far too many public and quasi-public entities have used a myriad of methods to deliver public assistance to project developers and claimed they are exempt. Combined with an endless array of administrative, regulatory and judicial decisions, this has created mass confusion about application of public works requirements.   

We need to simplify and clarify that when public money is used to fund projects all applicable labor laws apply so we are creating good jobs. Moreover, this will ensure we are using the highest quality labor to deliver the best finished product for the taxpayers, which they expect and deserve. 

Both houses of the legislature have introduced legislation to do just this and I applaud Assemblyman Harry Bronson and Senator Jessica Ramos for leading this charge in each house. Passage of public works reform will be a priority for the entire labor movement this year and we will fight to ensure this vital labor protection, guaranteed by the Constitution, is honored.

Mario Cilento, President 

Call To Action

Monday, January 28, 2019, 1:00 p.m. 
100 South Swan Street, Albany, NY 

Issue of the Week

Support The Dream Act (S. 1250/A. 782)

This legislation creates the New York DREAM Fund Commission and extends opportunities for certain undocumented students to attend college. It also expands State financial aid eligibility and provides greater access to the New York State 529 family tuition savings account program. 

Immigrants and their families have been a vital part of our state and national economy for centuries. Immigrant labor has always been a critical part of our nation’s future and that remains true today. Now, more than ever, getting a college education is key to every individual’s economic future. It is time we ensure this opportunity is available to this vital segment of the population. 

Currently, the door to a quality education is abruptly slammed shut on thousands of New York’s students once they complete high school. The only basis for this is the fact that their parents chose to bring them to the United States as children without documented status. 

This legislation will provide access to higher education for thousands of New Yorkers. Considering the current federal immigration debate and lack of progress on meaningful reform, now is the time to pass this legislation to ensure that New York can continue as a leader in embracing such a vital component of our economy and society. 

Therefore, this Federation urges that this bill be passed.