Lancman Calls for Additional Infrastructure Funding
April 30, 2012
Around Town – By Neal Tepel
Lancman called on Congress to pass the President’s infrastructure bank proposal, which would use $10 billion in federal money to spur private investment on road projects. Under the plan, federal loans would cover no more than 50% of the cost and would lead to $100-200 billion in private spending on infrastructure projects.
They also advocated for the Fix America’s Schools Today Act (FAST! Act), a bill that would address the at least $270 billion backlog in repairs and maintenance of our schools and would create hundreds of thousands of new infrastructure jobs across the country.
Both Lancman and the union also called for widely adopting Project Labor Agreements on all future projects, saving taxpayers at least $44 million in New York City alone. The Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers thanked the New York City Building Construction and Trades council for successfully negotiating PLAs with the city of New York and the School Construction Authority, and said that it should be held up as a model for the nation for putting people back to work and rebuilding our infrastructure.
Lancman said his work on the state level – helping to pass a $15 billion plan for infrastructure projects in this year’s budget – should be used as a model for the federal level. Since 2008, New York State has suffered a loss of approximately 62,000 construction jobs – a 17% reduction in the construction workforce. The state’s infrastructure plan will combine $1.2 billion in state funding, $1 billion in federal funding and $9.3 billion in funding from authorities to leverage $3.5 billion in private capital – all with the power to create thousands of jobs in New York state. Lancman contrasted this with Washington Republicans’ blockage last November of a $60 billion infrastructure plan proposed by the President to rebuild roads, rail lines, bridges and other infrastructure projects.
“In New York, we have thousands of people out of work, and thousands of projects that need workers – it’s not a complicated equation,” Lancman said. “We figured it out in New York and passed a $15 billion infrastructure package with bipartisan support that will create thousands of good-paying union jobs – I’m running for Congress because it’s long past time Washington figured it out too. Instead of endless bickering over the federal budget and ideological posturing on unrelated issues, Washington Republicans should focus on doing their job – creating jobs.”