Rep. Faso’s Scaffold Law Legislation Advances Through Committee
Washington D.C. – Congressman John Faso (R-Kinderhook) hailed the action taken by the House Committee on the Judiciary to approve H.R. 3808, the Infrastructure Expansion Act of 2017. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Faso and other New York representatives, can now move to the House floor for consideration.
H.R. 3808 would require any project financed with federal taxpayer dollars to utilize the same liability standard as every other state. Currently, New York State is the only state in the country to apply absolute liability to construction companies and project owners in the event of a gravity-related accident.
“With infrastructure legislation on the agenda, now is the time to fix this antiquated rule which unnecessarily increases costs and doesn’t contribute to workplace safety in our state,” said Rep. Faso. “This legislation means that every dollar of federal funding goes to build roads, bridges, and other needed projects and is not wasted on unnecessary liability insurance premiums. We need to stop wasting taxpayer dollars and join the 49 other states utilizing a comparative negligence standard. This will lower costs in New York State and allow us to build more projects by making federal dollars go further.”
“For far too long, every New York taxpayer has been paying billions to limit our already scarce resources to rebuild schools, hospitals, roads, bridges, affordable housing, and environmental infrastructure because of the Scaffold Law. We fully support Rep. John Faso’s “Infrastructure Expansion Act of 2017” (H.R. 3808), and applaud his efforts to ensure that federal funding will go as far as possible toward rebuilding our State and economy, and not be siphoned off by the excess costs imposed by this law. AGC NYS looks forward to continuing the fight to eliminate the Scaffold Law’s absolute liability with Rep. Faso and industry partners.” – Mike Elmendorf, President and CEO, Associated General Contractors of New York State.
“This week marks tremendous progress towards ensuring that federal infrastructure dollars are not wasted. This bill will make more infrastructure improvement possible, without compromising quality or safety.” – Tom Stebbins, Executive Director, Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York
“Habitat for Humanity of New York State works to achieve a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Families struggle with housing costs in both rural and urban areas of New York. We support H.R. 3808 because it would lessen this struggle by enabling fairer liability-related costs for construction projects using federal dollars.” – Mary Robinson, Chief Executive Officer, Habitat for Humanity of New York State
"As our housing crisis grows even more urgent, taking this crucial step to reform New York’s outdated Scaffold Law will enable our state to greatly increase the production of affordable housing for low- and middle-income families,” said Jolie Milstein, president and CEO of the New York State Association for Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH). “We strongly urge Congress to support Rep. Faso’s legislation, which would also generate much-needed jobs and local economic growth as part of the construction of more affordable housing for New Yorkers.”
“The Infrastructure Expansion Act of 2017 would give projects receiving federal taxpayer funding a dose of common sense: the bill would make certain that taxpayer dollars are not spent paying off abusive lawsuits based on local laws that are outside the mainstream. Instead, those funds could be used for important transportation and infrastructure innovations and improvements.” – U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform
An additional letter of support from the Scaffold Law Reform Coalition can be found here.
Another letter of support with signatories representing a wide-range of organizations from the contracting, insurance, and real estate sectors can be found here.
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