ALBANY, NY (WENY) — We have continuing coverage on New York State’s legislature budget hearings. Thursday’s topic was economic development.
Thursday’s budget hearing was broken into two separate topics: the first on economic development and the second on taxes.
Lawmakers highlighted workforce development programs, funding for the arts, indexing the minimum wage, and childcare as important elements for the legislature to examine.
Some lawmakers say there needs to be a better system to track funding for workforce development programs.
Witnesses who testified today say there is data work being done in state agencies to see how well funding streams are doing toward these programs.
Gov. Kathy Hochul’s state executive budget proposes funding in two different areas for regional economic development councils, which develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth in their regions.
Her funding for these councils proposes $150 million dollars in capital grants and $75 million dollars in new excelsior tax credits to fund high-value regional priority projects.
Sen. Tom O’Mara says regional councils are an important part of economic development but often lack sustainable financial support.
There are now nine budget hearings left. Lawmakers will continue budget hearings on other topics starting first thing next week.