Written by Christy Hinko: firstname.lastname@example.org Friday, 16 March 2012 00:00
On Friday, March 2, the Farmingdale Public Library, Farmingdale Chamber of Commerce and Mayor George Starkie hosted a presentation of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s budget address, “New NY Transformation Plan...the Next Step,” given by State Cabinet Member Ken Adams, CEO of Empire State Development.
Cuomo and his cabinet members arranged a series of public sessions throughout the state to give residents a chance to get more information on the budget proposal. The State Commissioners have been meeting with community members and residents to share details from the governor, as well as gathering concerns from residents to report back to Albany. Cuomo announced the initial budget proposal Jan. 17. The end of the state’s fiscal year is March 30.
Adams gave a PowerPoint presentation covering the financial plan of the proposed budget, economic development for the state and restructuring the state’s government, mandate relief, and the education crisis within New York.
Adams said, “Last April, we reduced the deficit and made real cuts.” He explained that with the proposed plan, the state could close billions in the budget deficit next year, although much of the budget is already set. Last year’s deficit was closed by $10 billion.
“Structurally, what Governor Cuomo did this year is true to the form of his governorship,” said Adams of the budget proposal and reforms. He said Cuomo’s budget proposal has a set of reforms built in for economic development; reforms that will increase New York’s competitive position. He said Cuomo says regularly, “If we don’t get our taxes under control we don’t have an economic future.”
Cuomo and his team say they can continue shrinking the deficit based on their plan: including not selling state assets, no new fees, no new taxes, as well as “no gimmicks, no new borrowing.”
The trend in state spending has been decreasing. In 2011, the spending was at $134.8 billion; in 2012, state spending is at $132.7 billion.
The state plans to improve more than 100 bridges, repair 2,000 miles of roadway, finance upgrades to 90 municipal water systems, improve 48 state parks and historic sites, and repair 114 flood control projects. Under the state’s economic development and NY Works Fund and infrastructure repair, committees have been created to identify serious projects within each region. Kevin Law, president of Long Island Association, and Stuart Rabinowitz, president of Hofstra University, have been named as the Regional Economic Initiative Council representatives for Long Island.
Kenneth Adams was confirmed by the legislature as Empire State Development (ESD) president, CEO and commissioner of the New York State Department of Economic Development in April last year. He works to promote economic practices that attract business and create jobs throughout New York. He also works closely with Lieutenant Governor Robert J. Duffy to implement the Regional Economic Development Councils across the state.
Adams came to ESD from the Business Council of New York State, the state’s leading business association, where he served as president and CEO since 2006. He led the organization in its mission of creating “economic growth, good jobs and strong communities across New York State.”
Prior to leading the Business Council, Adams was president of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and director of the MetroTech Business Improvement District in downtown Brooklyn. He was also the founding executive director of New York Cares, New York City’s leading volunteer organization, from 1988 to 1994.
The governor’s office has set up a website for residents to get regular information regarding the budget proposal and its effects, including a subscription option for regularly updated messages at: www.NYGetIn volved.com. In a posted message to New York residents, Governor Cuomo, said, “Recently I submitted the 2012-2013 Executive Budget and Reform Plan to the Legislature. Because of the tough choices we made last year, we were able to balance this budget without broad cuts and with no new taxes, fees or borrowing.
“Our plan is a pro-growth economic blueprint that will create tens of thousands of jobs by fostering private sector investment. It will lower the cost of government and help reduce property taxes through important proposals like pension reform and mandate relief. And it moves our state to a performance-based education system that puts students first.
“We are proposing dramatic change and it’s not going to be easy to get it done. The need for reform and the benefits to the state are obvious, but we will face significant challenges as we work to change the status quo.
“But with your help – if we come together as New Yorkers as we did last year – we can make these reforms reality.
“Join me in transforming New York.”
Editor’s Note: You can read how the budget proposal specifically impacts Farmingdale, in next week’s edition.