From the NYS Assembly • Sheldon Silver, Speaker
Assembly passes job creation plan
The Assembly’s budget resolution includes a comprehensive blueprint for job growth in New York (Resolution C322). The plan meets the challenges of a global, 21st Century economy by adopting a strategic, market driven, and accountable approach to economic development – one that recognizes both the unique resources and key industries in every region in the state.
The governor’s budget perpetuates his one-size-fits-all approach to economic development that has left our state nearly 400,000 jobs poorer than if we’d grown at the national rate between 1995 and 2004. The governor’s proposal hands broad discretionary powers to his hand-picked Commissioner of Economic Development while throwing money into a legacy of failed economic policies that amount to little more than a series of project announcements with no cohesive vision for our future. We need a better strategy to revitalize our economy.
The Assembly’s NY@Work plan redirects resources the governor had already earmarked for his failed economic development policies. Instead, the Assembly invests these resources to grow tens of thousands of jobs and spur entrepreneurship and business expansion in the state.
The Assembly provides $118 million to create the Regional Innovation through Scientific Entrepreneurship (RISE) Program. To stay competitive both nationally and internationally, our academic and economic institutions must be positioned to take advantage of constant technological change. The program will invest in university-based research and programs that bring innovation to the marketplace.
The program will foster the growth of cutting-edge, technology-based businesses such as biomedical research and innovative energy technologies to help create high-paying, highly-skilled jobs in every region of the state. It also provides maximum flexibility to local and regional economic development agencies, centers of excellence, and other stakeholders to design their own strategies to meet regional needs.
Easing access to capital
To invest in New York’s physical infrastructure and small businesses, the Assembly provides over $107 million to create the Community Investment Program (CIP). This program establishes a capital fund to support projects related to manufacturing, workforce development, agriculture, tourism, business parks, military base redevelopment, incubators, and downtown and rural commercial centers.
CIP will support outreach and networking for small businesses and help small manufacturers to benefit from university-industry alliances - taking advantage of the resources that New York’s universities have to offer. It will also help businesses reach their markets by providing support for export assistance, historical and cultural marketing initiatives, and the "Locally Grown, Locally Known" program. CIP also fully restores the governor’s cut to local Empire Zone administration – cuts that could threaten the viability of this job-creating program in some regions.
Expanding workforce training
The Assembly provides $28.5 million for ELEVATE New York (Expand Local Economies through Vocational and Technical Education) to support our state’s best resource – its workforce – through training programs. ELEVATE builds the skill of New York’s workers through school-to-work programs, vocational education and apprenticeships, internship programs and Educational Opportunity Centers.
It also creates ManuTech 2005 to meet the demand for workforce training for employers adjusting to new technologies. Traditional manufacturing, such as the automotive industry, as well as new and emerging industries, such as the semiconductor industry, will benefit.
To promote industry-university partnerships and build on New York’s strong network of public and private institutions of higher learning, the Assembly proposes creating a $150 million Academic Research and Development Fund. This will ensure that economic research and development continues to be a critical engine for economic growth.
Reforming the Empire Zones Program
The Empire Zones Program, an Assembly Majority initiative first advanced in 1999, is the single most important economic development program in the state. Unfortunately, the program has been mismanaged, suffered numerous abuses, and failed to live up to the considerable potential of these virtually tax free zones. In fact, a 2004 audit by the state Comptroller found that Empire Zones “are poorly administered, keep inadequate records, and do not hold firms accountable for actually producing jobs.”
The Assembly proposes to reform the program by reconfiguring zones, encouraging investments in distressed areas, and basing tax credits on wages and benefits paid to employees to encourage the creation of good-paying jobs. To create economic opportunities in areas left behind, the Assembly’s proposal creates six new zones, while reforming the program to help breathe life into some of the most distressed areas of our state.
Additional economic development support
In addition to providing a clear vision and blueprint for New York’s economic future through the NY@Work plan, the Assembly also allocates funding for important Minority and Women Owned Business Development Programs that the governor cut, including $1 million for Community Development Financial Institutions and $1.3 million for the Entrepreneurial Assistance Program. The Assembly also recommends Military Base Reuse and Redevelopment Initiative funding.
The Assembly will continue to fight for a budget that strengthens our local and state economies, and creates good-paying jobs and real opportunities. The Assembly has a detailed plan and is ready to work with the governor and the Senate to revitalize our economy.
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