New York is the only state in the country to still have a law like the “Scaffold Law.” This antiquated law, dating from 1885, increases costs for all building projects in our state by approximately 7%. My legislation, H.R. 3808, would require projects using federal funding to utilize the same “comparable negligence” liability standard as every other state. The legislation would preempt New York law on any projects utilizing federal funds, clearly within the power of Congress to legislate. This bill has received broad support from business groups, contractor organizations, local governments and non-profit organizations such as Habitat for Humanity.
By passing this legislation, every dollar of federal investment designated for New York infrastructure projects will go further. This means more bang for your buck in repairing roads, bridges, airports, expanding broadband access, and building affordable housing.
It’s a common-sense change for New York and one step towards making our state a better place to invest and do business.
The Associated General Contractors of New York State detail how the “Scaffold Law” hurts construction of infrastructure and housing in the state of New York in a support letter to members of Congress.