• Coalition of Business, Local Government, and Taxpayers Urges Lawmakers to Reform Century-Old “Scaffold Law”

  • FEBRUARY 11, 2014 | ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, GOVERNMENT REFORM, NYS GOV'T, REGULATORY ISSUES

  • Contact Legislators on Virtual Lobby Day, Urges Westchester County Association

  • The Westchester County Association (WCA) has joined a coalition of over 50 advocacy groups for a day of “virtual lobbying,” urging lawmakers in Albany to reform New York’s “Scaffold Law,” which date back to 1885. The law holds property owners and contractors fully liable for elevation-related injuries at construction sites, and puts owners and contractors at risk of being sued—even if the worker is found to be at fault. New York is the only state in the nation where such a law is on the books...


    “Revamping this law is necessary because the cost of ensuring compliance has huge consequences,” warns Bill Mooney, WCA president. “In practice, the Law drives up insurance rates and construction expenses, affecting business and taxpayers across the state. And on an enormous public project like the Tappan Zee Bridge, it can mean millions of dollars in additional costs.” In opposing the Scaffold Law, the WCA joins advocacy groups representing small and large businesses, developers, insurers, builders, contractors, municipalities, and taxpayers.

    The WCA has signed a letter to Governor Cuomo, urging changes to the Scaffold Law, with many of the WCA’s statewide partners, including The Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York and Unshackle Upstate. Scaffold Law lawsuits, which represented 16 of the top 30 settlements in New York in 2012, are responsible for escalating insurance and building costs across the state, according to coalition members. The letter states that such costs threaten the viability of many small businesses and impose millions of dollars in costs on taxpayers; reforming the law will free up millions of dollars for investment in job creation and critical infrastucture.

    “Research shows that reforming the Scaffold Law could create up to 86,000 jobs and increase tax revenues by $1.04 billion,” Mooney pointed out. “That’s something we can all get behind.”

    Legislation to reform the Scaffold Law currently enjoys bipartisan support in both houses of the legislature, and supporters are hopeful that inclusion in the Executive Budget will be the next step towards achievement of their shared agenda.

    To support reforming the law:

    Send a tweet to lawmakers using Hashtag #SLRLobbyDay2014. A list of Twitter handles for NYS Legislators can be found here: http://bit.ly/1npRC5K

    Send a letter directly to elected officials with this electronic message service.
    http://bit.ly/1bO1BQg

    For more information, please go to www.scaffoldlaw.org 

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