Upstate development competition raises questions

Wall Street Journal reporters Mike Vilensky and Josh Dawsey report some upstate leaders are uncomfortable with the competitive aspect of the Upstate New York Economic Revitalization Competition included in the Governor’s Executive Budget proposal.

Under the plan, seven upstate economic development regions, excluding Buffalo which has its own $1 billion commitment from the state already, will submit regional economic development plans to a five-person advisory panel as part of a selection process to be managed by the Empire State Development Corporation.

The three winning plans will each be awarded $500 million in state funds that are part of the state’s $5.5 billion windfall from settlements.

The Wall Street Journal article notes, “Some upstate officials … say the … proposal is more like ‘”The Hunger Games,”’ forcing them into a brutal faceoff where some will be cast out.”

The proposal is subject to Legislative approval as part of the budget negotiations.

The Business Council supports legislation that assures new economic development project assistance is available to significant development projects statewide.

You can read the entire Wall Street Journal story here.