Thursday, March 17, 2011

Coalition Supports Delay in Regional Councils

On Wednesday afternoon, members of the Getting Our Money's Worth Coalition voiced mild support for the Senate's decision to withhold funding for Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Regional Councils.
Their support for the lack of funding in the Senate budget proposal stems from the hesitance to embrace the allocation of any economic development money without accountability and transparency, which they allege has been lacking in most state investments over recent decades.
This position was voiced by Matt Ryan, the executive director of NY Jobs with Justice, when he spoke at the public hearing on economic development and he reiterated that position on Wednesday.
"New York needs a coordinated, long-term strategy to create good jobs throughout the state," he said. "However, without more details on Governor Cuomo's proposed Regional Economic Development Councils, it's unclear whether Regional Councils would fulfill this vision, or become yet another economic development initiative that's riddled with abuse, waste, and fails to create the good jobs New Yorkers need."
Ryan went on to say that the legislature should try to expose and curb subsidy abuse by implementing the kinds of strict standards and accountability that should be applied to Cuomo's regional councils.
In terms of their shared vision with the Senate Republicans, coalition member and Coalition for Economic Justice Executive Director Allison Duwe acknowledged that they probably have different ideas on how the Regional Councils should be set up.
"We believe there is strong logic to support a hold on funding the [Regional Councils] until more details can be worked out with a broad range of community and labor stakeholders, not just business executives," she argued.
"Funding Regional Councils without doing the detail work to make sure they don't fail our communities the way the state's major economic development programs like IDAs and Empire Zones have for decades would be putting the cart before the horse."
You can find out more about the Getting Our Money's Worth Coalition here.

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