In response to a letter sent by Governor David Paterson to state legislative leaders calling on them to reform the state’s Power for Jobs Program, State Senator George D. Maziarz (R-C, Newfane) said that the governor’s plan lacks the substance and vision to effectively address the needs of the state’s employers who rely on the program.
Maziarz, who serves as Chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, said Paterson’s memo does little more than point out the fact that the Power for Jobs Program is set to expire in less than two months. “More than 300,000 jobs in the state rely on the program,” said Maziarz. “The governor uses verbiage such as ‘let us seize the opportunity and take meaningful action that will hasten New York’s economic recovery,’ but his own plan is completely devoid of any substantive reforms of the program.”
Maziarz hinted at his own proposal that he will be bringing to the table, which will benefit upstate businesses as well as examine ways to reduce the cost of energy and the burden of onerous energy taxes for ratepayers.
“The Governor should use every penny that may be realized through any potential redeployment of Rural and Domestic power to create jobs, not to address a budget deficit that he and his buddies from New York City in the legislature created,” said Maziarz. “They had a chance to address the deficit last year and again this year, through real reductions in spending—instead they increased spending and taxes last year by record amounts and this year look prepared to tax and spend even more, and add in billions in borrowing.”
This is a toxic mix for our economy, says Maziarz. “Now the governor wants to take $20 million from the proceeds of selling Rural and Domestic power that benefits upstate New York rate payers and use it to help balance his budget? This is just another in a long line of bad ideas that target upstate New York –not unlike his actions in the past, such as sweeping of $550 million dollars from the New York Power Authority.”
Maziarz also expressed his concern that Paterson will let NYPA design a new economic development program. “Given NYPA's action in the past, I’m far from convinced that they will act in the best interests of upstate employers,” said Maziarz. “Considering that NYPA loses money at 16 of its 18 facilities, I’m not sure they’re qualified to run a lemonade stand, let alone develop an economic development strategy that impacts hundreds of thousands of jobs across New York.”
“Sadly the Governor's proposal is no better than a press gimmick to get money to close the budget gap, while leaving all of the details to NYPA,” said Maziarz. “I intend to provide real leadership on this issue.”