Lou Coletti, President and CEO of the Building Trades Employers Association, discusses the push for Scaffold Law reform up in Albany this legislative session in an interview with Albany Bureau Chief Jon Lentz.
The issue has become a point of contention this year as insurance prices have skyrocketed for mostly small and mid-sized construction companies. One of the most publicized groups impacted by this has been the New York City School Construction Authority. Coletti said their insurance has jumped from $85 million last year to $234 million this year, with the main driver of the costs being the Scaffold Law.
Supporters of the law argue that this is just an attempt by business to weaken worker protections. In a forum City & State hosted in November, Assemblyman Francisco Moya argued that the insurance companies need to disclose more information about the costs to prove that reform is necessary.
Construction groups are planning a large push this session in Albany. Coletti said he doesn’t see how the state can fund universal Pre-K, a top priority for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, without a reform of the Scaffold Law to allow for the building of more school seats.
Coletti hopes to see reforms put into the state budget, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo is set to introduce next week, because the sooner legislative action takes place the better.
“The faster we get the change, the sooner we can see insurance premiums decline and more jobs to be created,” Coletti said.