Rensselaer, NY, Mar 10, 2011 — New York's Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would make the Power For Jobs program permanent. The newly named "Recharge NY" program would double in size by using electricity that had been allocated to small residential energy bill discounts. It would still offer low-cost power to hundreds of companies across the state in return for job commitments. The new version of the program would also set aside $8 million to offer power discounts for farmers. The now goes before the state Assembly.
Republican Joe Griffo says the bill is one success in what he calls a "very hectic" session. Griffo says lawmakers are scrambling to finish budget bills while trying to avoid the "three-men-in-a-room" process that's given Albany such a bad name. "To debate these issues in public between both houses and hopefully arrive on a consensus so we can have an on-time budget," Griffo says. "I think everybody is trying to work together and do the best we can despite our philosophic differences."
Those differences include how much to cut education spending and how to make redistricting less partisan.
Griffo represents the 47th Senate district, which stretches from Utica in the south, though Lewis County and the eastern half of St. Lawrence County to Massena. He told David Sommerstein making the popular Power For Jobs program permanent is an important step forward.