Leader Brian Kolb, Assembly Minority Continue The Fight To Restore State Funding For Construction Contractors

Assembly Minority offer amendment to emergency budget extender to restore state funding for safer roads and bridges, prevent further loss of construction jobs
April 20, 2010

(Albany, NY ) – Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,I,C-Canandaigua) and Members of the Assembly Minority Conference kept up their pressure on Governor David Paterson to reverse his much-criticized decision to withhold state funding from construction contractors, a move that already has cost New York hundreds of construction jobs and is delaying a growing number of road and bridge projects.

Yesterday, Kolb and the Assembly Minority offered an amendment to the emergency budget extender the Governor submitted for Assembly approval. In absence of the 2010-11 State Budget, now 19 days past due, the Governor has provided three such extenders, none of which contained state funding for new or ongoing construction projects. Even though the Assembly Minority amendment was defeated by a vote of 92-49, several members of the Majority actually crossed party lines to vote for the Minority proposal. An official roll call of yesterday’s vote on the Minority amendment is attached with this press release.

Last week, Kolb and Assemblyman David G. McDonough (R,C,I-Merrick), the Ranking Minority Member on the Transportation Committee, called on the Governor to restore the funding. They were joined by leading voices representing construction contractors including Marc Herbst, Executive Director of the Long Island Contractors’ Association, Inc.; Denise Richardson, Managing Director of the General Contractors Association of New York; Ross Pepe, President of the Construction Industry Council of Westchester and the Hudson Valley; and Kenneth L. Warner, Executive Director, UNICON – Unions and Businesses United in Construction.

“Yesterday, the Assembly voted on an emergency budget extender submitted by the Governor that again failed to include state funding for construction contractors, many of whom have been forced to stop work and lay off employees. Every day that passes without state funding in the construction pipeline is another day contractors cannot get back in what is a very limited window of opportunity for these infrastructure projects to move forward,” Kolb said.

“The Governor’s refusal to provide state funding for important infrastructure projects is adding to the ranks of more than 800,000 unemployed New Yorkers. Our Conference will continue applying pressure and offering amendments to future budget extenders to get this funding restored and prevent further job losses in New York’s construction industry. This should be a non-partisan effort; more Members of the Majority should have supported our common sense amendment yesterday,” Kolb stated.

Click here to view a copy of the Assembly’s roll call vote on the Assembly Minority amendment to restore state funding for contractors.