Upstate Republicans Reaction To The Governor’s Economic Awards

December 10, 2015
 
State Senator Tom O’Mara, who submitted Hornell IDA Director Jim Griffin’s idea, for funds to go towards a new Hornell Rail Center, O’Mara stated the following:
 
“The Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions have stood out as top performers throughout these competitions over the past several years, but this is a big, difference-making win for each region. It’s a real tribute to the regional leaders across the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes whose commitment and hard work have been unmatched. They have continually assessed our regional strengths and weaknesses, identified specific economic priorities, and diligently put in place short- and long-term strategies to keep hope alive for a stronger and more secure economic future. It’s been great work and they’ve earned today’s victories. Now moving forward it’s going to be up to all of us in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions to put these incredible resources to good, effective use to revitalize our regional economies. It’s time to change our pessimism to optimism.”
 
Assemblyman Phil Palmesano issued the following statement:
 
“It’s a great day for the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions; it’s one of the most significant days we’ve had in a long time. These Regional Economic Development Council victories have the potential to truly transform our economic future. First and foremost, I have to express our collective congratulations and gratitude for all of the time, energy and hard work that’s been done by our local and regional council members since 2011. Their efforts have been admirable to identify the right priorities and put forth the most effective short- and long-term plans, and I can’t say enough about their leadership and vision. Their effective presentations for competitive Upstate Revitalization Initiative grants took top honors this morning, each worth $500 million.
 
“These critical, targeted capital investments will help create jobs for middle class families in our community. While this investment represents a potentially transformative commercial spark, we still have a lot of work to do on the road to full economic recovery. Now, pushing ahead with these local foundations being put in place, it will be imperative heading into the 2016-17 state budget cycle to advance policies that will provide bold and aggressive tax and regulatory relief for small businesses, manufacturers and farmers. We have to take every step to spark private-sector investment and job creation so that we can turn our upstate economy around for good so businesses, large and small, can grow and prosper for the benefit of our workers and their families.”

 
State Senator Cathy Young’s statement is below:
 
“Jobs and economic opportunities will be the outcome of the state grant awards announced today. Our manufacturing, recreation, tourism and quality of life will be enhanced, and I salute my local people who worked so hard to develop these projects. It shows that by working together we can achieve great results.
 
Allegany County projects that received funding include:
• $1.5 million for the New Forest Economy project at Alfred State College;
• $40,950 for the Cuba Friends of Architecture;
•$900,000 for the villages of Bolivar and Richburg’s joint water improvement project; and
• $50,000 for the Village of Wellsville’s waterline project.
 
Congressman Tom Reed:
 
“I care about ensuring local community economic development projects have access to the resources they need. This is a great opportunity for investments into local economic development projects that will create jobs, attract tourists and help make our region a better place to live, work and raise a family,” said Reed. “I’m glad to see this success for our region and am hopeful that we can get these projects off the ground quickly.”
 
Assemblyman Bill Nojay was not pleased with the idea of awards going to different parts of the state, and Nojay issued this statement:
 
“Notwithstanding the fanfare surrounding Gov. Cuomo’s mutual admiration society of self-congratulatory high-fives between detached Albany politicians, today was a push for more of the failed economic programs of the past. The reality is that these economic development grants are a pitiful and desperate tip of the hat to regions the governor’s policies have continued to wreck during his administration.
 
“The Regional Economic Development Council did not make the decisions about who obtained these grants, the governor did. The decisions were made on the basis of what was good for the governor’s political fortunes, not what was best for our regional economy. There are clear records of past grants showing the jobs created never approached the claims made by the governor when he held prior press conferences. It is easy to conclude these press conferences are less about jobs for average New Yorkers than about the governor keeping his job at election time.
 
“The governor is paying for these grants in part with funds taken from programs for the developmentally disabled, schools, and projects for our road and bridge that he has defunded. Therefore, the purported $100 million a year to universities and corporations is in part paid for by our disabled and our children, and we will feel it when driving through potholes and over poorly maintained bridges.
 
“The economy of the Finger Lakes region is approximately $47 billion per year. The governor’s grants amount to $100 million per year. That amounts to two-tenths of 1 percent of our economy, a negligible amount. Rather than a “game changer” as the governor proclaims, the grants are a drop in the bucket.
 
“If the governor was ever serious about economic revitalization he would have cut the public relations parade and worked with industry and community leaders on a plan toward economic progress. A genuine strategy for a thriving and self-sustaining Upstate economy wouldn’t have involved picking winners and losers but in permitting fracking, cutting taxes and regulations, and giving a hand to the small businesses who will never see a dime of this money. This is simply a smokescreen for a governor who knows his political future is in jeopardy and will stop at nothing to stay in office.”