Governor Spitzerís State of the Upstate address provides hope for the future of Upstate New York. I agree with much of what the governor had to say, including the fact that the upstate economy needs a boost and that legislators in Albany need to take the lead in making that economy thrive.
The governor mentioned the purchase of the Wyeth plant by Akrimax Pharmaceuticals Tuesday. The Wyeth plant employs 800 people, so this purchase was a huge triumph for the North Country.
The number one concern of the people in my assembly district is the burden of real property taxes. I am encouraged that the governor has acknowledged the need to reduce property taxes, particularly the school tax burden. I am looking forward to more details of specific proposals in the near future and hope the changes are recommendations we can support.
I am particularly pleased the governor addressed the need to recruit and retain physicians in the North Country. His reference to the shortage of doctors in Franklin County is a recognition of the efforts of our medical centers, doctors, and residents bringing this issue forward.
I am also pleased with the broadband initiative. The $15 million proposed by the governor will join $5 million we put into this project last year, providing businesses and residents in the rural areas of New York with access to high-speed internet.
Higher education is especially important to my district because of the three SUNY colleges located within it. An emphasis on affordable, quality higher education will benefit our students and colleges.
The governor announced his plans for Upstate New York and I am optimistic that many of his initiatives will help the economy grow. My main concern lies with the affordability of these plans. When the governor releases his budget next week, we should have more information on the revenue sources.