Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg (D-Long Beach) joined Governor Cuomo to announce the formation of the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council at SUNY College at Old Westbury. This year’s budget provides funding for economic development councils across the state to create a region-based approach to allocating state funds for economic development.
"During this year’s legislative session we made significant progress in localizing control of our economy, through our efforts with SUNY 2020 and these regional councils," Weisenberg said. "Each region has its own economic strengths and weaknesses. By implementing an economic development council on Long Island, our members will be able to work toward what our communities need in order to boost the local economy and get our families back to work."
The Long Island Regional Economic Development Council consists of 22 people. These members will compete with other councils from around the state for grants and tax credits from Albany to further local development and attract new businesses and jobs to the area. The governor tapped both Kevin Law of the Long Island Association and Stuart Rabinowitz of Hofstra University to be co-chairs of the Long Island council. With members directly from the region, business-assistance programs and development ideas will be made to best fit the needs of each community, Weisenberg added.
"Long Island’s new council can focus on what matters most to our residents – growing the economy and creating jobs, as opposed to the previous ‘top down approach’ from Albany," Weisenberg said. "It’s time we put an end to the pattern of our residents being forced to move elsewhere for employment. I will continue fighting to make sure our communities have a say in the establishment of programs that will be conducive to our region."