Suffolk County, NY - March 5, 2014 - The Suffolk County Legislature took a step today towards making Suffolk County more business-friendly for electrical contractors which, supporters say, will translate to lower costs for consumers.
A bill sponsored by Legislator Tom Cilmi and passed by the Legislature (HR-1) asks New York State to allow Suffolk County to be the sole licensing authority for master electricians throughout the County. In Nassau County, electricians are required to hold more than 27 different licenses in order to work in the variety of towns, cities and villages within the County. Not only is there a cost associated with each license, but there are additional insurance costs as well.
Presently in Suffolk County only two municipalities, in addition to Suffolk County, require separate licenses or registrations. Cilmi says his bill will prevent the proliferation of unnecessary, onerous fees and registrations throughout the County by stopping the spread of unnecessary bureaucracy.
Cilmi worked with State Senator Lee Zeldin to craft Senate bill S.5132, which is mirrored in the Assembly by A.7298. The State Legislature requires a home rule message from the County in order to act.
Legislator Cilmi said, “This is common sense, good government, good-for-business legislation which is also good for the consumer. All master electricians are licensed in Suffolk County. There is absolutely no reason to add extra layers of bureaucracy at the town and village levels which increase costs for consumers and taxpayers, and provide a false sense of additional security.”
Senator Lee Zeldin said, “This legislation will protect electricians and consumers against the unnecessarily complex structure of electrical licensing that currently exists. It’s another way we are empowering our localities and working to cut red tape to give our area businesses the chance to succeed. It’s a win for the electricians’ trade and a win for consumers.”
Charlie Gardner, Government Affairs Director of the National Electrical Contractor’s Association, Long Island Chapter, who worked with Cilmi and Zeldin on the legislation, called it a “home run.” He said, “Electrical contractors struggle every day to manage their businesses. Most don’t have administrative staff to keep track of dozens of required license renewals every year. Multiple licenses do nothing to protect the consumer and simply increase costs and make it more difficult for contractors to operate. Our members are thrilled to have played a role in getting this done in Suffolk County.”