ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Donald Trump’s home state would no longer do business with companies working on the Republican president’s border wall under a proposal announced Thursday by a Democratic New York legislator.
Assemblywoman Nily Rozic’s bill would prevent the state from signing contracts or investing in companies hired for the federal project. It’s the latest proposal from officials in New York looking to push back against the new administration, and another indication of the tension between Washington and the leaders of blue states like New York and California.
“Many of us have been thinking about different ways we could counter the actions coming out of Washington D.C.,” Rozic told The Associated Press. “This will be a decisive and effective way of showing where our values are at.”
New York routinely awards sizeable contracts to companies and invests billions of dollars in pension funds. The state already has placed restrictions on contracts or investments with companies that do business in Iran, or those that participate in a boycott of Israel.
Rozic said that while it’s unusual to consider restrictions relating to a federal project, New York must honor its tradition of diversity and tolerance.
“I represent one of the most diverse districts in our state, and I feel strongly about sticking up for our immigrant communities,” she said.
The legislation would direct the state to compile a list of companies working on the wall, and then prohibit state investment and procurement officials from awarding contracts or investing state assets in those firms.
“We have a lot of infrastructure and workforce development needed right here in New York State and that’s where I think we should keep our focus and start to build jobs and bring in the money,” Rozic told 1010 WINS. “It is quite frankly a waste of tax payer dollars and there are a lot of different and better ways to spend anywhere from the $8 to $14 billion it is estimated to cost to build that wall.”
The legislation could do well in the overwhelmingly Democratic Assembly but may face challenges in the Republican-led Senate.
Trump made the border wall a key promise during his successful campaign. He signed an executive order Wednesday to jumpstart construction.
“This is a symbolic first step, there are various ways to combat what we see coming out of the federal government these days and I think that it’s an important step for New York to take in sort of saying we are in inclusive, and we believe in diversity and we won’t be a part of building that wall,” Rozic said.
Democrats in New York already have announced several other steps to push back against proposals and policies of the new administration.
Earlier this month, the administration of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo moved to require insurers to cover birth control and medically necessary abortions.
And this week, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has vowed to fight a presidential executive order threatening to strip federal funding from so-called “sanctuary cities” that don’t arrest or detain immigrants living in the country illegally.
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