This week, the Times Union reported a story about our alleged influence on a study conducted by the Rockefeller Institute at the University at Albany and Cornell University on the cost of the Scaffold Law. In an effort to discredit the study, the Labor-backed Center for Popular Democracy filed a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request to get my emails with the researchers.
It backfired. In those emails, I clearly state “This is not a lobbying document. Your goal is to assess the problem.” Further, when the researchers came to the conclusion that the Scaffold Law causes injuries, I questioned the hypothesis, and suggested that the data did not indicate why the Scaffold Law causes injuries, only that it does: “As of now, it seems that the data confirms the presence of the scaffold law increases injuries, but I don’t think we have any data to show the reason why.”
Opponents of reform are obviously terrified by the fact that the Scaffold Law causes injuries. Rather than working with reformers to fix this law, enemies of this past due reform are simply attacking the messenger — or in this case, messengers, which included top researchers at two renowned universities.
The data speaks for itself. If the trial lawyers or labor had data that shows that the Scaffold Law improves safety, or costs less than the billions estimated by the Rockefeller Institute and Cornell, they would have released it. They don’t have that data, because it doesn’t exist.
We hope that they, the governor, and the legislature realize that we can no longer be the only state in the nation that has a law that costs billions and causes injuries.