Times Union: Outside clout in final report?

Between its draft and final versions, a report by SUNY‘s Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government on New York’s controversial Scaffold Law incorporated changes that tended to increase its estimates of the law’s cost and impact.

Some of the changes echoed suggestions made to researchers by the leader of an anti-Scaffold Law organization that paid $82,000 to fund the report — sponsorship that has led critics to attack the study as advocacy in the guise of research. Its authors, however, insist the changes reflect nothing more than their own good-faith efforts to clarify the analysis.

The Scaffold Law, which places “absolute liability” on employers for gravity-related workplace injuries, is supported by labor unions but opposed by business groups that claim it needlessly drives up construction costs. Opponents would like to see New York follow other states by adopting a “comparative negligence” standard that would make workers proportionately responsible when their actions contribute to an accident.

Click here to read the full story in the Albany Times-Union.