Photo Courtesy of United Steelworkers
By Forum Staff
Legislation that would require certain State agencies to use domestically produced structural steel and iron in public works projects with a contract cost of $1 million or more has passed both the State Senate and Assembly, Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach), who voted in favor of the bill, announced on Monday.
According to the State Senate, the New York Buy American Act applies to certain public works contracts of $1 million or more, particularly projects that address road and bridge work. Affected State agencies would include the Department of Transportation, Office of General Services, State University of New York, Dormitory Authority, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Bridge Authority, and Thruway Authority. Exceptions could be made if materials are not available, the project is of an emergency nature, the contract could jeopardize federal dollars awarded to the state, or the project is determined not to be in the public interest. The bill also establishes a working group with representatives from Canada to evaluate “reciprocal access” for projects in New York, and to discuss the possible use of domestic concrete, cement and aluminum, as well.
“By taking steps to use more steel and iron produced in the United States, we are proactively investing in our American workers, businesses, and our United States economy as a whole,” said Addabbo, a member of the Senate Labor Committee. “Whenever we can, we should try to grow New York State’s economy with materials produced at the hands of our own nation’s labor force.”
Addabbo added that he hoped that Gov. Andrew Cuomo, “who championed similar efforts in his Executive Budget earlier this year, will sign this legislation into law.”