Long Island Herald
November 1, 2018
Op-Ed: A law you’ve never heard of is slowing our state’s progress
By Mitchell Pally
Schools and bridges are crumbling across New York state. Many Long Island hospitals are outdated, and local downtowns are in desperate need of revitalization. But New York’s “Scaffold Law” makes us among the most difficult places in the country to get projects like these off the ground. If elected officials are serious about investing in our state, growing the economy and creating jobs, they can start by reforming this outrageous law.
The impact of the scaffold law is very real here in Long Island. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is about to kick off a $5.6 billion capital project to transform the Long Island Rail Road, but the scaffold law will add between $216 million and $317 million in needless cost to that desperately needed project. Those are taxpayer dollars that could be spent on other critical infrastructure projects, invested in schools or put back into the pockets of riders and taxpayers. Even the new Islanders arena at Belmont Park, which is slated to cost about $1 billion, will squander between $39 million and $57 million to cover the scaffold law. These are unconscionable wastes of money.