With the successful passage of another on-time state budget, one that includes robust funding for statewide economic development and job growth, strengthens our economy by including the lowest middle-class tax rate in 58 years and revives an expanded sales tax break on clothing and footwear throughout the state (A.9058-D). We can continue to move New York State forward.
Although the past year has shown marked economic progress statewide, it is so important to continue investing in programs that give back to all those who work so hard every day and still struggle to make ends meet. That is why I worked to make sure the final state budget develops programs that help hardworking Monroe County families find good-paying jobs, while keeping more of their hard-earned money in their pockets and providing them with increased buying power.
The 2012-13 final budget provides $794.6 million to various Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) projects. These programs will offer assistance to job creators a crucial component to job growth throughout our state and in our community and will help promote business expansion, leading to job creation and community revitalization. The proposal includes funding for the:
- Empire State Economic Development Fund ($50.4 million);
- continued support of the Jobs Now Program ($16.2 million);
- Urban and Community Development Program ($7.4 million); and
The final budget includes funding for various capital projects, many of which will rebuild our states crumbling infrastructure. It also includes funding for:
- repairing and rebuilding parks, roads and bridges through New York Works ($1.6 billion);
- a second round of Regional Economic Development Council grants ($220 million);
- New York Works Economic Development Fund, as part of the New York Works Initiative ($75 million); and
- Empire State Economic Development Fund ($20 million).
These investments in technological innovation and new roads and bridges are building blocks for the future of New York State. By providing funding for a second round of Regional Economic Development Councils, there is significant potential to jumpstart entirely new sectors in our economy. This is one of the many ways we can spur job growth right here in Rochester, an area hit hard by the economic recession.
The final budget also allocates $1.6 million in the area of Minority- and Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBE). The money will be used to develop a new computerized compliance system to better monitor MWBE compliance and expand the Department of Economic Developments workforce. Additionally, support for the Minority- and Women-owned Business Development and Lending Program was also increased by $365,000 to a total appropriation of $1 million.
As the legislative session continues, Ill remain committed to fighting for Monroe County making certain that our hardworking families have a voice in Albany that will bring real results for our community.