Saturday, July 10, 2010

New York's Legislature - Clueless, As Usual.

Recently, both houses of the New York State Legislature passed legislation requiring licenses for plumbers and electricians working on public school projects having a value of $10,000, where licensure is mandated by the municipality in which the school is located. As it stands currently, there is no Statewide licensing of those trades in New York, and municipalities are free to set their own licensing requirements.

Proponents of the legislation claim that it’s necessary as a safety measure. That's a legitimate concern; however, it appears that the legislation is designed to limit competition by permitting localities to protect work in the trades for locally-based contractors. It is simply ridiculous to demand that plumbers and electricians obtain licenses in every municipality having licensing requirements, each with different rules. A better alternative is a single, Statewide licensing requirement for those trades. This would ameliorate concerns about safety and eliminate the overly burdensome task for contractors in having to obtain multiple licenses in separate jurisdictions within the State. Another alternative would be to modify the current legislation to allow reciprocity of licensing throughout the State; if a contractor is licensed in one local jurisdiction, then that should be sufficient for other municipalities.

The net effect of this legislation, if signed into law by the Governor, is that the pool of quality contractors is likely to be reduced greatly. Thus, locally-based contractors may have quite the monopoly on public school work in various jurisdictions, thereby resulting in higher bid prices and contract awards. Who pays for this? You guessed it ... the taxpayer. Logic and pragmatism appear to be concepts lost on the politicians in Albany.

1 comment:

fax numbers said...

I fully agree. That will just make more problems and less work to small plumbers and electricians.