GENESEO — The New York State Deputy Secretary of Economic Development, Leecia Eve, appeared at SUNY Geneseo’s MacVittie College Union this Friday to present Governor Cuomo’s State of the State and Budget Message.
Her presentation of the Governor’s address proposes many new programs that will intend to highlight certain aspects of New York State, and included topics such as education, worker’s comp, unemployment, and public safety.
“We all believe so passionately in the Governor’s agenda,” claimed Eve.
Eve, a Buffalo native, was very pleased to return to Western New York to present the State of the State message. A graduate of Harvard Law and a former lawyer in Buffalo, Eve is one of Governor Cuomo’s principle economic advisors. She has served in Governor Cuomo’s executive chamber since October of 2011.
“It really has been an honor for me to be in this role,” said Eve.
Some key points from the presentation include:
-Passing a Women’s Equality Act. Some features of this act include real equal pay for women, a zero tolerance policy for sexual harassment in the workplace, and will attempt to get rid of housing discrimination for victims of domestic violence and abuse.
-Safe and Fair Gun Policy. More information about this policy can be found at nysafeact.com
-A Reconstruction Task Force was proposed after Hurricane Sandy affected many parts of New York State. The hurricane resulted in 300,000 homes being severely damaged and caused $800 million worth of damage to healthcare facilities. This proposal includes a Community Reconstruction and Mitigation Plan that will attempt to create a statewide volunteer network.
Innovation Hot Spots:
-There are 10 proposed higher education private sector high tech incubators for startup companies that will be presented through a competition. Five companies will be awarded this year, and five next year. These will also be tax-free zones, with no business tax, but real property and sales tax.
-The State also plans to invest in a $50 million New York State innovation capital fund as part of the Innovation NY Network. This is based off the highly successful Connect Model from San Diego. The goal for this fun is to generate and support business deals.
-The State will seek to reform worker’s comp and unemployment insurance. Their plan will hopefully aim to end borrowing to pay for benefits, ultimately reducing costs while increasing said benefits.
-Extending the NY Sun Solar Jobs program at $150 million annually for ten years.
-Create a New York Green Bank, which will be a $1 billion dollar bank.
There are an estimated 210,000 unfilled jobs in New York State. “This statistic is real, and it’s stunning,” stated Eve.
-The ‘Next Generation New York Job Linkage’ program will work with employers to identify jobs, training, and skills required for future employees seeking jobs.
-Minimum Wage will be raised within this new proposal.
-‘Market NY’ will be a new multi-faceted marketing plan that will attempt to bolster upstate growth.
-The ‘Taste NY’ program seeks to aggressively promote NY State products. The program hopes to create duty-free stores across the state that will sell solely products made within New York State.
-Alongside the ‘Market NY’ strategy which will feature regional attractions, there will be a $5 million advertising competition to come up with the best regional marketing plan.
-The State will look to increase tourism through new destination resorts and casinos. The ‘Casino Gaming Plan’ presented within the address will attempt to boost upstate development in three phases, along with keeping casinos out of New York City.
“Education can be summed up in two words, MORE and BETTER,” stated Eve.
-The state will look to having more Pre-K programs throughout the state, and is looking to extend Pre-K days to five hours.
-There will be an overhaul of teacher training and certification processes.
-Community Schools within distressed communities was another proposal within the address. These community schools can offer education and additional support such as health, employment, and after school services. The Community School proposal would replicate other successful models such as the Cincinnati Community Learning Center, the Harlem Children’s Zone, and Say Yes to Education programs.
Geneseo Central School District Superintendent Tim Hayes was also present at the address, and discussed with Eve the education proposals during the Q&A session.
More information regarding the 236th Legislative session can be found at www.nygetinvolved.com.