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NY Budget Agreement Advances Gov's Regional Economic Development Agenda

March 28, 2012

Funding is inlcuded for Gov. Andrew Cuomo's regional economic development initiatives under a FY13 budget agreement between the governor and legislative leaders announced earlier this week. This includes a new round of funding for the state's 10 regional councils and university challenge program initiated last year. The agreement also provides a down payment on the Buffalo Regional Innovation Cluster and funding to create a statewide energy initiative. The budget agreement authorizes $220 million in a second round of funding for the regional councils to implement strategic plans identified last year (see the Dec. 7, 2011 issue of the Digest). Of this amount, $150 million is new capital funding and $70 million is tax credits from the Excelsior Jobs program, according to the governor's office. Lawmakers also agreed to provide funding for the Buffalo Regional Innovation Council, announced by the governor in his State of the State address. The budget includes $100 million for the first year, with $75 million in capital funding and $25 million from the Excelsior Tax Credit program. The $1 billion, multi-year effort aims to bring high-tech industries and jobs to the Buffalo region. A new round of $30 million in capital funding also is included for the NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant program, which allows four university centers to apply for challenge grants to expand facilities and enhance research-focused programs. In support of the 2013 state energy plan, the budget agreement includes $16.2 million to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority for R&D programs. Under the initiative, the state will develop an action plan for short- and long-term energy projects. The budget also establishes the New York Works Task Force to coordinate capital plans and oversee investment in projects. The task force is made up of 15 members appointed by the governor and legislature. Lawmakers are expected to vote on the budget bills by the end of the week with the new fiscal year starting April 1. Read the governor's press release: http://www.governor.ny.gov/press/03272012budgetagreement.

New York