The first scare that OSI Pharmaceuticals raised was loud and public: It was leaving the Island. Then a Japanese firm bought OSI and looked to keep part of it here. That relief became a quieter scare: Without state action allowing expansion, OSI might leave after all.
Now, after way too many fits and starts on the road to needed state legislation, we're at a happy next-to-the-last step: passage of a bill allowing the State University of New York's trustees to lease land and expand the Broad Hollow Bioscience Park at Farmingdale State College. The bill covers 38.5 acres, clearing the way for a third building at the park, and OSI can expand and stay.
That's good news, because without unshackling incubators like Farmingdale's, the Island's high-tech future is in danger.
The bill was sponsored by Sen. Charles Fuschillo Jr. (R-Merrick) and Assemb. Robert Sweeney (D-Lindenhurst), and backed by Hubert Keen, the campus president, and by the state's Empire State Development agency. It could add nearly 800 direct and indirect jobs here. So Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo should sign it into law.
But it's only a first step toward trimming the bureaucracy, in both the legislature and SUNY. If we don't cut the red tape to empower economic development, New York can't compete in this fast-changing world.