Today the watchful heads in The Buffalo News Opinion corner view with alarm and point with, well, some relief.
- Ratepayers at risk - Buffalo News Editorial
Gov. David A. Paterson, who wielded his veto power very effectively in shaping the state budget, needs to keep that pen handy. Yet to come his way is a deceitful measure that will needlessly drive up energy costs for New Yorkers.
The bill [S8379A] was passed by both houses of the New York State Legislature, once again demonstrating that it doesn't understand the meaning of the words "financial crisis." New York and its residents are sinking under the weight of a raft of disastrous state policies, yet lawmakers saw fit to take this, of all moments, to stick it to voters once again.
The measure would, for the first time, require utilities such as National Grid and National Fuel to pay prevailing wages to services with which they contract -- landscapers, for example. National Grid estimates that this thievery will cost it $18.3 million, which it will pass along to its customers who, thanks to Albany, already pay some of the nation's highest electric rates.
What is more, and possibly worse, this cowardly sop to the unions who control the Legislature also makes violations a criminal rather than a civil matter. If this preposterous bill ever becomes law, utilities are going to be very sure they follow it to the letter, which means that everyone who pays a gas or electric bill is going to have to reach even farther into their pockets.
- Coalition Against the Service Worker Prevailing Wage Expansion - Management
- Bill Would Keep Public Utilities from Creating Poverty-Wage Jobs - Labor
[I couldn't find any other mentions of this in the mainstream media.]
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