Governor Cuomo wants to invest $1.5 billion dollars to help the struggling upstate economy, but there’s a catch. They have to compete for the money.
Cuomo says his budget plan will include an upstate revitalization fund, but it won’t be distributed to all of the state’s economically depressed regions. Instead, the seven regions will be competing for a share of the funds. The rules are, only three will receive grants of $500 million dollars each.
“Why the competition?” Cuomo asked rhetorically. “Because I believe in competition.”
The governor says if he just gave the localities the money, they would not do the “hard work.”
The governor already gave the City of Buffalo, the largest upstate city, a noncompetitive award of $1 billion dollars during his first term. He says that city had the worst economy in the state and the investment turned that around.
The contest begins in April, with applications due July 1st. The winners would be announced in the fall, as part of the existing Regional Economic Development Council awards program.
The legislature first needs to approve the program.