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Gov. Cuomo in Jamestown yesterday
Gov. Cuomo in Jamestown yesterday

Governor tailors ideas for upstate audience

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Governor Andrew Cuomo brings his extended State of the State speech tour to Watertown this morning. He'll speak at 11 at Jefferson Community College. The event's open to the public, but space is limited.

Cuomo gave the speech in Jamestown yesterday, south of Buffalo. It's tailored to an upstate New York audience. As the Innovation Trail's Daniel Robison reports, Cuomo mostly focused on economics.

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Cuomo is careful to frame the debate around his ideas. He’s not trimming or cutting budgets, but “redesigning” them instead. And as he showed in his Jamestown speech Thursday, he’s not shy to rattle off a litany of the state’s deficiencies.

“One point six billion dollars in economic development programs, we’re number 50 [in the country for performance],” he said.

As a fix for that problem, Cuomo repeated his pledge take all existing economic development money and dispersing it through 10 regional councils he’s promising to create. And that’s because, he said,
“We have the worst business climate in the United States, the worst!”

Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi said small cities like his will receive the attention they deserve from the regional councils Cuomo is proposing. But he says the council’s won’t matter unless they’re part of a much bigger fix.

“You can have the best incentives programs in the world managed by the best people in the world but if you have an overall environment that’s bad for business in the state because of the high cost of taxation, the high cost of service delivery, the best programs in the world are not going to produce jobs and investment for you,” Teresi said after the governor’s speech.

Cuomo also reiterated his goal of creating a 100 million dollar fund to aid green jobs development. But he’s yet to outline where the money will come from.

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