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New documents indicate that the leader of the Lawsuit Reform Alliance, an anti New York Scaffold Law lobby pressured the SUNY’s Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute to incorporate changes to a study to increase its estimates of the cost and impact of the Law

In April, we wrote about a controversial study related to the New York Scaffold Law that steered debate between the Construction Industry and Construction workers advocates. The study was published by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, the public policy research arm of the State University of New York and funded by the Lawsuits Reform Alliance of New York, an organization lobbying against laws protectingworkers in favor of the construction industry and other corporate interests.

The study drew so much controversy that Freedom of Information Law requests were filed to find out if the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute was pressured by the lobby during its research or after the release of the report.

Last week the Institute produced the draft report that researchers submitted to Tom Stebbins, the leader of the Lawsuit Reform Alliance as well as as email correspondence between them.

The comparison of the two documents show that changes have been made to address issues raised by Stebbins. The potential claim costs double from the draft report to the final report following Stebins’ suggestions to “tweek” the calculation methodology used in the draft version.
Also a case study on the construction of the Lake Champlain bridge indicating that Scaffold Law had only marginal impact on the structure’s price tag appeared in the draft version but was removed at Stebbins’s request. It was replaced by a case study that better served the interest of the lobby.

Read more in the Times Union