We went to the Capitol to see the thousands of people who gathered to protest New York’s new gun laws. Several people remarked they had never seen a larger crowd. In this morning’s edition of the Times Union, Jimmy Vielkind reports on the speeches and Governor Cuomo’s defense of the Safe Act.
Although The Business Council has not taken a position on New York’s new gun control law, we thought you would be interested in hearing that nearly 10,000 people rallied at the Capitol today, one of the largest gatherings we have seen here. The pro-gun crowd called on Governor Cuomo to repeal the state’s new gun laws passed by the legislature in January. They ban the sale of most semi-automatic weapons and limit magazines to to seven bullets. It’s not certain if any gun manufacturers make seven round magazines.
Here are some stories that review the gun law:
In gun law, Cuomo mandated something that doesn’t exist [Democrat and Chronicle]
New gun law challenged as Cuomo’s approval suffers [Legislative Gazette]
Yesterday, Ken Pokalsky, vice president of government affairs at The Business Council joined the Lawsuit Reform Alliance and other advocates at the Capitol to call for Scaffold Law reform. James Odato of the Times Union writes that it was the “biggest lobby day ever on changing the 100-year-old law unique to New York.” Here’s his story:
If amendments to the Scaffold Law are to occur, it will likely require the leadership of Gov. Andrew Cuomo to use his political clout.
“We need everybody,” said Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York executive director Thomas Stebbins.
After a day of lobbying in Albany on Tuesday, about 175 contractor, business and insurance industry representatives attempted to persuade a critical mass of lawmakers to move for a change in the antique law that gives workers injured on public and private job sites the right to sue owners and contractors for negligence. Privately lawmakers said Cuomo needs to take the lead on the issue.
The Lawsuit Reform Alliance conducted the biggest lobby day ever on changing the 100-year-old law unique to New York. In the past groups have pushed for repeal. This year the groups united behind a proposed amendment to the absolute liability standard that prevents individual contractors from arguing there case for actual liability and to bend the law toward encouraging workers to take responsibility for their own safety and allowing juries to weigh the actions of recalcitrant employees under certain circumstances.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, showed no interest in embracing a bill sponsored by his recently appointed majority leader, Assemblyman Joseph Morelle that would provide for the amendements.
The Morelle bill, also advanced in the Senate by Patrick Gallivan, calls for comparative negligence for personal injury, property damage or wrongful death from a work site fall. The easing of the law would take effect if a worker committed a criminal act; used drugs or alcohol, failed to use safety devices furnished at the job site; or disregarded with employer instructions or safe work practices in accord with safety training programs of the employer.
Lawrence Schwartz, Cuomo’s secretary, said Scaffold Law reforms have been discussed but it is unclear if reforms will fit into the governor’s priorities for this year.
Among those seeking change, Michael Elmendorf and Joseph Hogan of the Associated General Contractors said the law is adding hundreds of millions of dollars to projects in New York because of liability insurance costs. “There’s a 300 percent difference in insurance costs between building in New York and New Jersey, if you can get insurance,” Elmendorf said.
If you think that yesterday’s pro-gun rally was big, wait until you see what the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association is planning for later this month. This story comes to us from Laura Nahmias of The Wall Street Journal.
ALBANY—More than 600 opponents of New York’s new gun-control laws rallied Tuesday at the state Capitol, vowing to disobey the firearms restrictions signed last month by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and push for their repeal.
The protesters were a manifestation of the pushback against the gun laws the Democratic governor shepherded to passage quickly in January, following the Newtown, Conn., school shooting. His approval ratings, once above 70%, have dipped in recent weeks, and he has been the target of increasingly harsh attacks from Republicans.
Another rally inside the Capitol on Tuesday in support of the gun-control law drew about 75 attendees.
The New York State Rifle and Pistol Association is planning a rally in Albany on Feb. 28 for as many as 35,000 people, with National Rifle Association President David Keene as its keynote speaker.
Fights over new firearms laws are also heating up in Connecticut, where gun-rights supporters have come out in force against new restrictions, and in New Jersey, where the Legislature is slated to take up 24 bills address guns on Wednesday. Among the New Jersey proposals are reducing the capacity of magazines to 10 rounds from 15 and to ban ammunition sales through the Internet.
In Albany on Tuesday, many protesters said they felt cheated by New York’s Republican lawmakers and the process Mr. Cuomo used to pass the bill, which he announced and passed in a single day.
Law Limits Progress on Protecting Public From Natural Disasters, Better Schools, Roads, Bridges, and Hospitals While Contributing to Double-Digit Unemployment.
Hundreds of advocates from various professions will gather at the State Capitol in Albany today to urge Governor Andrew Cuomo and Legislators to take action and reform the unfair absolute liability standard of century-old Scaffold Law. Attendees will hear from several scheduled guest speakers who will discuss the provision of the Scaffold Law that drives up to cost of every public and private construction project in New York because building owners and contractors are held ‘absolutely liable’ for “elevation related injuries,” regardless of the facts of the case or the real liability for the injury.
Scaffold Law Reform advocates are supporting bi-partisan legislation sponsored by Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle and Senator Patrick Gallivan (A.3104/S.111).