The Remarks Of Speaker Sheldon Silver

Announcement Of Regional Economic Development Grants

Empire State Plaza, The Hart Lounge, Albany, NY
Thursday, December 8, 2011

{As Prepared For Delivery}

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Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver addresses economic development officials from state and local government who gathered in Albany for Governor Andrew Cuomo's (left) first Regional Economic Development Council awards ceremony. Silver applauded Gov. Cuomo for establishing a competitive economic development grant program and commended members of the 10 regional economic development councils for competing for the grants that will help create jobs and boost the state's economy.
On behalf of the Assembly Majority, a body that has advanced and invested in regional economic development for the better part of two decades, let me commend our Governor for creating this innovative, competitive grant program.

Governor, I'd say were having a good week this week.

Let me welcome Maria Bartiromo. It is a pleasure to have you here in person with us today. Your presence here really underscores how important this undertaking is to the State of New York.

We also commend the all of the members of the regional economic development councils for the time, the effort, and the outstanding work all of you have put into this important process.

I would be remiss if I didn't offer my personal "pat on the back" to our Lieutenant Governor, Bob Duffy, for his leadership in guiding the councils to this historic moment.

I've been saying this for a long time now and I know the members of the Assembly - some of whom are here with us today - share my opinion that a one-size-fits-all approach to economic development no longer makes sense.

Executives, sitting in a board room somewhere on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, making decisions about which economic development projects around the state should receive state funding, no longer makes sense.

We need job growth plans that are tailored to fit each region's resources and competitive advantages.

Most important of all, we need to put the strategic decision-making in the hands of those leaders who most clearly understand what each region needs to spur economic growth ... and that is all of you.

While we congratulate the winners, the fact is that all of you have performed a great service by establishing a blue print for future prosperity that we hope will be built upon and fine-tuned for generations to come.

On behalf of the New York State Assembly, may I say that we look forward to the Governor, in the next budget, incorporating another round of competitive grants, so that the work of these councils can continue.

And as I said a year ago, when it comes to the all-important mission of creating jobs, we finally have what we have needed for so long: strong, visionary leadership in Governor Andrew Cuomo and Lieutenant Governor Bob Duffy.

Congratulations on completing this year's competition, and speaking for all New Yorkers let me close by saying, "keep up the great work."