From the Morning Memo:

Yesterday, a coalition of labor groups released a letter to state lawmakers asking that they not tinker with the state’s Scaffold Law.

Instead, the unions pointed to a bill that would require insurance companies that provide coverage under the measure to release data detailing claims paid out under the law.

But those who want to see the Scaffold Law reformed say that bill is a “red herring” and counter there is plenty of information already divulged on the cost of the measure, which they contend helps drive up the cost of business.

The information is released by the Insurance Services Office, which “receives data from the carriers and generates various market reports for them since, for obvious anti-trust and competitive reasons, they don’t sit around comparing notes with each other,” wrote Mike Elmendorf, the president and CEO of the Associated General Contractors of New York State in an email.

He wrote the data the ISO provides shows something is out of whack with New York compared to the rest of the state.

Insurance carriers in this state are “routinely paying out more in claims/losses than they can collect in premium in this space, which is, of course, why they are fleeing in droves. If they were actually profiting as the trial lawyers claim, why would they not be lining up to sell insurance to our contractors?”