The last scheduled day of this legislative session is this Wednesday, June 20th. With the closing days comes a final push on multiple legislative issues.
On Monday, June 11th, I was pleased to speak on behalf of S.6310A which requires the State Education Department to study, review, and report on the possibility of Westchester public schools being grouped with NYC and Long Island for purposes of area wages, rather than the Hudson Valley, when determining NYS public school funding. This new regional grouping is a more accurate representation of the cost of living and would bring greater fairness to state public school funding in Westchester.
I am also pressing for a bill to expand the definition of "public work" to include projects that receive tax breaks and Industrial Development Agency (IDA) favorable financing. Expanding the definition of "public work" through S.2975A would require developers to pay prevailing wage to their workers on these projects. For too long, developers have been using this loophole to avoid hiring local union labor. It is time for the state to clarify that public funding, whether through tax abatements or direct financing, requires prevailing wage for workers.
Read more about each of these legislative efforts in the sections to follow.
In the last week, I was happy to attend a beautiful Juneteenth Celebration in the City of Yonkers organized by the Yonkers African-American Heritage Committee. See a few pictures of the event in the final section of the e-newsletter.
Shelley B. Mayer