SQUADRON TO GOVERNOR: INVEST IN BQE REHAB, CITY TECH, ENERGY EFFICIENCY
Following Bill's Passage, Squadron Asks Governor to Invest New York Works Infrastructure Fund in Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan
Squadron Applauds Passage of Programs He’s Long Championed: Summer Youth Employment, Career Pathways
ALBANY – Following the state legislature’s passage of legislation aimed at creating jobs and growing New York’s economy, State Senator Daniel Squadron asked Governor Cuomo to invest part of the New York Works Infrastructure Fund in key projects in the 25th Senate District: the rehabilitation of the Brooklyn Queens-Expressway (BQE), an incentive program for Lower Manhattan businesses to increase energy efficiency, and a new academic center at New York City College of Technology (City Tech).
When signed into law, the fund will infuse New York’s infrastructure with over $1 billion of investments, including $300 million from Port Authority revenues specifically dedicated to projects in New York City. In a letter, Senator Squadron urged the Governor to utilize a portion of that fund to reverse last month’s decision to terminate the Environmental Impact Statement for the rehabilitation of the BQE.
In addition, Senator Squadron urged the Governor to use the fund to support Downtown Alliance’s Green Commercial Incentive Pilot Program, which aids new commercial tenants, small businesses, and building owners in Lower Manhattan in improving energy efficiency. He also called for funds for a modern academic facility at City Tech, which is particularly necessary due to strong enrollment growth at the school. The full letter is available below.
Senator Squadron also released the following statement, applauding the legislation’s inclusion of key programs and policies aimed at making government fairer and creating much-need jobs, including two programs he’s long championed: Summer Youth Employment and Career Pathways. Senator Squadron said:
Last night, the Senate voted to pass legislation that begins to deal with the terrible fiscal challenges facing New York. It includes a number of key programs and policies I've long pushed for that will make government fairer and create much-needed jobs. I'm proud that even though Democrats are in the minority in the Senate, in partnership with the Governor and the Assembly we are making these core policies a reality.
This legislation moves us toward a fairer tax structure, which I've long supported. It cuts taxes for the middle class while asking those who can most afford it to contribute more, and that's a step in the right direction.
In addition, this legislation will create a fund to invest billions of dollars in New York's infrastructure while creating thousands of jobs.
I'm asking Governor Cuomo to invest some of that money right here in the district -- by moving forward with the rehabilitation of the BQE, funding an incentive program for Lower Manhattan businesses to become more energy efficient, and helping City Tech build a new academic center that will be a resource at the gateway to Brooklyn, while providing even greater opportunities for striving New Yorkers
The jobs component of this bill also funds two programs I've long championed: Summer Youth Employment and Career Pathways. In each year's budget, Summer Youth Employment, which employs tens of thousands of teens, is put on the chopping block. In past years, I and my colleagues have been successful in saving it. But the fight has meant other social service programs don't get the focus they deserve. By ensuring $25 million for Summer Youth Employment for next year, we're providing teens with jobs and expanding our ability to fight for other critical programs. In a tough economy, Career Pathways connects the hardest to employ with job training and wage subsidies that provide employment and create careers. These two programs, although not headline-getters, are game-changers.
Our work doesn't end with this bill. With a continuing deficit it will be a challenge to enact a state budget that expands opportunity and creates jobs. And we must prioritize reform of the system so that Albany is better able to tackle major challenges in the future. Three reforms that would make a big difference are a more open system to give major bills like this one a full public hearing, independent redistricting, and a campaign finance system that empowers individuals over powerful special interests.
Media Contact: Amy Spitalnick / 212.298.5565