Modular Building Institute

Discussion Forum

All Offsite Construction Sectors Affected by Anti-Industry Bill in New York

Original Comment:
For the past two years, MBI has spearheaded an effort to defeat anti modular legislation in New York aimed at required municipally licensed plumbers and electricians to directly and continuously monitor all work, regardless of where the work was occurring. The bill, SB 4738 Ramos, was recently reintroduced.

It is not hard to see the intent of this bill, which is to support union labor and kill the modular and offsite industry, particularly in New York City. I suppose the unions must do their job and try to get bills like this passed, and there are still plenty of politicians indebted to organized labor. But if this bill passes in its currently form, the impacts will be chilling.

If you are a multifamily developer in New York City, this bill virtually eliminates all options for any work to occur offsite – including cabinetry, HVAC, wall panels, bathroom pods, and volumetric modules. Given the sky-high costs of housing in New York City, coupled with the overall labor shortage, how practical is it to expect NYC licensed plumbers and electricians to relocate to factories in Pennsylvania, or Indiana, or Poland to directly and continuously supervise construction?

It is not. But when has practicality ever been a concern for the unions?

But this impacts far more than multifamily modular – it is all forms of closed construction. At some point, politicians will need to decide if its better to continue to offer handouts and favors to labor or provide decent affordable housing for their constituents. Poor people do not have good lobbyists, so it is incumbent on housing advocates and organizations like MBI to point out the net impact of legislation like this.

If you do business in New York, and you are in any way, shape or form utilizing offsite construction techniques, this bill impacts your company. MBI needs your help to kill this bill once and for all. The best way you can support this effort is by supporting the MBI Seals program – our vehicle to generate funds to fight anti industry bills like this one.

To support our efforts, go here to order MBI Seals.
Started on January 12, 2022 by Tom Hardiman
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Additional Comments:
I would think such a law would be unconstitutional, as it interferes with interstate commerce, which is federal jurisdiction. It would allow New York to regulate labor that happens in a Pennsylvania factory, for example.
Updated on January 12, 2022 by Allison Allgaier

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