Tague Calls on Cuomo to Lift Project Labor Agreement Requirement on Schoharie-Otsego I-88 Project

Assemblyman Chris Tague (R,C,I,Ref-Schoharie) is calling on the governor to lift a Project Labor Agreement requirement on the upcoming Department of Transportation project planned for I-88 in Schoharie and Otsego counties. Such a requirement would de-incentivize the use of merit contractors from the bidding process and disadvantage about 80% of otherwise qualified contractors living near the project from bidding to work on it. A PLA requirement could also invite a lawsuit from the federal government, as many similar state-funded, PLA-mandated projects have had their funding pulled for not meeting federal standards of free and open competition for public projects. Tague is concerned that if funding was lost because of this requirement, localities may be forced to pay for the project, as they did in the city of Ogdensburg.

“At a time when the state is struggling financially, it makes no sense to burden such a necessary project with such a costly and legally-burdensome PLA requirement,” Tague said. “Our local contractors are hurting for work just as much as other working people in this state, and to put them on an unlevel playing field within the bidding process for a project in their own backyard which they could accomplish for less money is ridiculous. Our state is strapped for cash, and we should be getting the best work done at the lowest cost possible, and if these inflated costs were to be passed on to local municipalities, the results would be devastating. Our taxpayers deserve better than this and should know their money is being spent wisely and in their own communities.”