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Money, money, money

Five state senators are asking Gov. Paterson to release $120 million in upstate economic development funds that have been sitting idle for a year, the Binghamton Press is reporting.

"Despite an overwhelming need for an upstate-focused economic-development strategy, the Upstate Fund has continued to lie dormant," said the letter, signed by Sens. Neil Breslin of Albany, William Stachowski and Antoine Thompson of Buffalo, David Valesky of Syracuse and Darryl Aubertine of Watertown. "We hope you will move quickly to issue these much-needed funds."

Gee, I thought having Bob Wilmers as chairman of th Empire State Development Corp. was going to avoid problems like this. Come to think of it, no major WNY initiatives have been forthcoming from ESD since Wilmers took over amid hopes that state economic development policy would pay closer attention to our neck of the woods.

The Buffalo Pundit weighs in here.

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Chuck Schumer is helping Sam Hoyt raise money, the New York Daily News reports. Likewise, Hoyt is raising money for Andew Cuomo.

Interesting to note that it's Sen. Chuck Schumer, not, say, Gov. David Paterson or Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who is coming to Hoyt's aid here.

No surprise, though. Schumer is rolling in the dough and doesn't need to fear Golisano's money, unlike pols at the state level. Might be one reason why no one has submitted legislation that would close the loopholes used by Golisano's Responsible New York to bankroll several races last fall.

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USA Today has a story on how the compensation gap between government and private sector employees is growing.

Overall, total compensation for state and local workers was $39.25 an hour — $11.90 more than in private business. In 2007, the gap in wages and benefits was $11.31.

The gap has been expanding because of the increasing value of public employee benefits. Last year, government benefits rose three times more than those in the private sector: up 69 cents an hour for civil servants, 23 cents for private workers.

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All this talk of money makes me want to hear from the O'Jays. Hit it, guys.

tagged

Economic Development | Politics | Recommended reading
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