Agreement close on Buy American program, Klein says; discussions continue

June 21, 2017

With major issues still unsettled, it would appear there was some movement on Monday on one piece of end-of-session legislation: A Buy American program.

[] June 19th, 2017 [Times Union] 

Senate Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein said legislative leaders and the governor are nearing a three-way agreement on Buy American, a proposal pushed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo that fell out of the budget earlier this year.

Cuomo’s “Buy American Act” would have required that the state purchase U.S.-made products for state projects worth more than $100,000. Products with an end manufacturing process in the United States and 60 percent of their components coming from America would have qualified. 

That proposal was opposed by some involved in international trade.

“We’re happy that we look like we’re coming to an agreement on a buy American bill, a three-way bill, that was something that was very important to myself and I know Sen. (John) Flanagan’s conference,” Klein said after emerging from the governor’s office with Flanagan, the Republican Majority leader, following a meeting with Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Cuomo. “We’re trying to work on something more to help with the heroin epidemic. That’s something that we hope to get done before the end of session.”

But mayoral control of New York City schools, charter school provisions, extensions of local sales taxes and the Child Victims Act all appear to remain sticky. 

“We still have two days to get it done,” Klein said of mayoral control.

Flanagan said Mayor Bill de Blasio called him on Monday and Flanagan was going to call him back after leaving the impromptu gaggle with reporters outside Cuomo’s office.

Klein also said the Child Victims Act was discussed but not in depth. 

Emerging shortly before the senators, Heastie said little. 

“We’re talking, and there’s two days left,” he said.

Both the Senate and Assembly plan to leave town on Wednesday, the scheduled end of the legislative session.

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