Assemblyman Pete Lopez (R, C, I – Schoharie) this week voted in support of Assembly Bill 8825-A, legislation to extend the Power for Jobs energy incentive program through May 15, 2010. The bill was passed in the Assembly by a unanimous vote.
“Ensuring that businesses have safe, reliable and affordable energy is a top priority in terms of keeping and attracting jobs here in the state, most especially in our manufacturing and agricultural sectors. Right now, we need to do everything we can to lower costs in order to keep jobs for the people of our state,” said Assemblyman Lopez.
The Power for Jobs program was created in 1997 and is set to expire at the end of the month. The program provides hundreds of millions of dollars in discounted energy for businesses statewide.
In addition to extending the program, the bill would require that all Power for Jobs recipients conduct an energy audit to assess the performance of the program. Businesses that have conducted an audit within the last two years will be exempt from this requirement. The cost of the audits will be covered by the New York Power Authority, which administers the Power for Jobs program.
Assemblyman Lopez stated, “This bill is a win-win for businesses and the state. The audit will help the state make improvements to the program, in order to help make businesses more economically competitive and help foster job growth. The audit will not cost businesses anything and, in the meantime, they still will be able to receive the benefits of this important cost-saving program.”
Unfortunately, there is no State Senate companion bill. However, Lopez is hopeful that, with the passage of the bill in the Assembly, it soon will be passed in the Senate as well. Additionally, Governor Paterson has announced his own legislation to extend the program. While the bill has not yet been introduced, it would extend the program until June 30, 2010.