Empire State Chapter of Associated Builders & Contractors v. Smith

The Wicks Law requires public entities seeking bids on construction contracts to obtain separate specifications for three subdivisions of the work to be performed. Until 2008 when the law was amended to raise the threshold, the Wicks Law applied to contracts whose cost exceeded $50,000. The new, higher thresholds, unlike the old one, were not uniform throughout the State. Plaintiffs claimed, inter alia, that the amendments violated the Home Rule section of the State Constitution by unjustifiably favoring the eight counties with higher thresholds. Supreme Court dismissed the complaint, holding that Plaintiffs lacked standing to assert the Home Rule cause of action and that, in any event, the challenged amendments did not violate the Home Rule section because they "were enacted in furtherance of and bear a reasonable relationship to a substantial State-wide concern." The Appellate Division affirmed. The Court of Appeals affirmed as modified, holding (1) at least one plaintiff had standing to assert the Home Rule claim, but that claim failed on the merits; and (2) most of Plaintiffs' other claims failed, but four causes of action challenging the apprenticeship requirements as applied to out-of-state contracts should be reinstated. View "Empire State Chapter of Associated Builders & Contractors v. Smith" on Justia Law