ALBANY, 02/12/19 -- State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I/Ref – Oneonta) today continued to highlight upstate concerns during the joint legislative public hearing on the governor’s budget proposal. Today’s hearing focused on the economic development portion of the state budget.
“At a time when our state is losing population and the upstate economy is in trouble, we need a fiscally sound budget that focuses on affordability and a revitalized economy,” said Senator Seward. “Throughout the budget hearings I have pressed our state commissioners and agency heads to explain how the governor’s budget will benefit real people with real concerns. Holding the line on state spending, keeping taxes in check, and boosting our economy are my main priorities.”
While questioning New York State Department of Economic Development Empire State Development Commissioner, President and CEO Howard Zemsky, Senator Seward asked specifically about state policies as they relate to upstate economic development.
Seward asked, “There are vast portions of upstate New York that are losing population and I think primarily because of a lackluster economy. What can be done to change our strategy to allow upstate to participate in the economic revival?”
Commissioner Zemsky responded in part, “Unemployment has been cut in half across upstate New York and it is a much different economic environment than it was not that many years ago.”
“I appreciate Commissioner Zemsky’s response. However, I believe there is much more work to be done to truly revitalize the upstate economy. The commissioner has been helpful on a number of fronts and I look forward to working with him further to truly revitalize our upstate economy,” concluded Seward.
As ranking Republican of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Seward is playing a lead role in the budget hearings and will continue to do so as budget discussions progress.