Aubertine: Extender gives lawmakers more time to bring program to Assembly vote
WATERTOWN (August 4, 2010)—State Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine today commended his colleagues in the Assembly—from all parts of the state—who have come on board in support of Energize New York as a new and improved successor to Power for Jobs. He noted that this support for a long term program that protects jobs statewide and ensures a focus on Upstate parallels the support of the business community.
“Business groups across the state, editorial boards, the governor and lawmakers in the Senate from both sides of the political aisle have endorsed this program as good for business and sustainable for long term job preservation and growth,” said Sen. Aubertine, who sponsored the Energize New York legislation, which passed the Senate 59-2. “The bill has not moved in the Assembly, but it is encouraging to see a swell of support. We need to now take steps to build on that support, while protecting the jobs that depend on the programs already in place.”
Specifically, the Senator, who serves as Vice Chair and Ranking Majority Member of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee, applauded Assembly members RoAnn Destito, William B. Magnarelli, and Albert Stirpe, who sent an email to their leadership in the Assembly saying they “emphatically” support the Energize New York program as the best means of continuing to preserve jobs.
The Senator cautioned that without movement in the Assembly this week, businesses that have depended on the Power for Jobs program to sustain the jobs of more than a quarter of a million New Yorkers will not be able to guarantee those jobs in the face of higher energy costs. To provide more time to build support in the lower house, the Senator and his colleagues unanimously passed a Power for Jobs extender on Tuesday to ensure benefits are protected.
“Permanent reform is needed and we cannot lose sight of the positive gains represented by Energize New York, including long term contracts and a minimum allocation of benefits for Upstate New York employers,” Sen. Aubertine said. “A stable, long term program will give businesses the certainty they need to invest in our communities and create new jobs. Extenders are not the answer, but we cannot put employers in a position to consider layoffs now, when we can see that there is support and that support is growing.”
MACNY President Randy Wolken stated, “I applaud Senate Aubertine, Senator Maziarz, and their Senate colleagues in making a very difficult decision last night: responding to the Assembly’s refusal to act on a long term power program and passing the one year extender bill. MACNY and its collective membership understand that the Senate did this as a means to protect those businesses which rely on the lower cost energy that these programs offer so they can stay competitive. The Senate’s efforts throughout the session on this particular issue are greatly appreciated by all. I remain encouraged by the recent individual calls of support from Assembly members concerning their desire to pass Energize New York. Despite the lack of action from the Assembly, our membership remains dedicated to working with the State Legislature and passing Energize New York—a viable, long term power program—in the near future.”
Business Council President Kenneth Adams said, “We appreciate this one year extender as a necessary ‘Plan B.’ Hundreds of energy-intensive businesses and thousands of their employees rely on these NYPA energy programs, and extension of these benefits is crucial. We worked hard to pass a new, permanent program, and are deeply disappointed that the Assembly did not pass legislation that is supported by the Administration, and that passed the Senate with broad, bipartisan support. We greatly appreciate Senator Aubertine and Senator Maziarz’s effort this session to push long-term legislation this session.”