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As the deadline to pass the state's budget approaches, Governor Cuomo defends his proposal against criticism.

In an address to the Rochester Rotary the governor laid out some of the specifics, focusing on upstate revitalization and economic development.

The New York State Senate and Assembly have also submitted their proposals over the last two days, and the governor says each proposal reflects the specific plans of each.

Southern Tier REDC hammers out details of $500M competition

Mar 10, 2015

Leaders from across the region are working out details of how to solicit economic development ideas to win state funding. The Southern Tier Economic Development Council is competing against six other upstate regions to receive $500 million. That amount was promised to three winners by Governor Andrew Cuomo in January.

The idea of the program is largely based on an investment the state made in Buffalo over the last couple of years – the “Buffalo Billion.” In that plan, state money funded a high-tech manufacturing hub and a bio-medical research facility.

After setting up the NY State Works Task Force in May 2012, the group has released what it describes as “…a forward-looking strategic plan for generating economic growth in New York State.”

The document gives some indication of how the Task Force intends to coordinate $174 billion in spending across 47 state agencies and authorities. It’s required to mesh that spending with the activities of the 10 Regional Economic Development Councils or REDCs.

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The New York Thruway Authority's decision to layoff 234 staff as part of a strategy to address its financial predicament includes the loss of 42 canal workers who maintain 57 locks along the 524-mile length of the Erie Canal that connects the Hudson River to Lake Erie in the west. 

The Thruway Authority confirmed on Wednesday that it will go ahead with plans to cut back its workforce by around 8 percent. Employees affected by the cuts will receive official notice on Thursday, according to the timesunion.

Users of the canal have raised concerns that the loss of lock workers on the canal system will impact on this historic piece of the state's infrastructure. 

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Five years ago, Penn Yan’s Main Street shopping area featured a lot of empty windows: 12 out of 50.  Today, only two vacancies remain. Steve Griffin, who heads the Finger Lakes Economic Development Center, credits a few specific improvements - like a nearby redevelopment project and the opening of a downtown gallery. But he says, it also has a lot to do with a change in attitude.