Budget Would Increase Economic Development Spending, Despite Scandals

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Since Governor Cuomo took office, Empire State Development spending has more than doubled.

This year will keep the good times rolling for the insiders benefiting from that “economic development” spending. The Governor has proposed a 25 percent spending increase for the agency, bumping its $1.5 billion budget up to $1.9 billion.

But New Yorkers have next to nothing to show for all the spending. The state’s economic development programs finished as the most-expensive, least-effective in the nation according to an Upjohn Institute study.

Even worse, ESD was responsible for overseeing programs including the Buffalo Billion that triggered an on-going federal corruption trial.

The budget proposal also includes funding for the eighth annual economic “Hunger Games.”

The Governor has proposed $150 million in core funding for the Regional Economic Development Councils that are riddled with conflicts of interest and $70 million in state tax credits set aside from the Excelsior Jobs program.

Other proposals for ESD spending include $30 million to attract new manufacturers for a photonics facility in Rochester. This proposal comes just one year after ESD pulled out of a deal with California-based Photonica after the company promised to bring $700 million in investment and 400 jobs to the region.

In addition, the budget has proposed $650,000 to go toward a $3.2 million industrial hemp processing facility in the Southern Tier.

New Yorkers are tired of Albany’s gameshow “economic development” programs that are proven failures, and wastes of public money.

Want to get serious about job creation in the Empire State? Join Reclaim New York.