Ken Adams, president and CEO of the Empire State Development Corporation, outlined Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive budget proposal and reform plans today for a small audience in the Stony Brook University Wang Center.
The governor’s plans for economic development include the establishment of the Energy Highway Task Force, which will help facilitate the transfer of power from upstate plants and wind farms to areas downstate, and the legalization of casino gambling, which could potentially raise $1 billion in revenue, according to Adams.
President Samuel Stanley said he is very positive about the energy highway and the potential for Stony Brook University and Brookhaven National Lab to be involved in the process.
“That really ties in very well with the smart grid work that we’re trying to do,” he said. “The idea that we could actually help facilitate that transmission line that they create and actually make it as efficient as possible—that’s really exciting.”
Stanley added that he is supportive of Cuomo’s budget proposal unveiled Jan. 17 because of its commitment to keeping the university’s budget intact and its emphasis on SUNY’s contribution to the state’s economic development.
Adams was one of several cabinet members sent to various regions of the state to echo the governor’s proposal for reform in his 2012-2013 executive budget. He discussed Cuomo’s solution to the “education crisis” in the state, which he said would begin with the establishment of a teacher evaluation system. If districts do not implement the system by January 2013, they would be ineligible for a state aid increase, and if they do implement it by September 2012, they would be eligible for extra funding.
Other proposals included improvements to New York’s infrastructure, such as repairs to bridges, roads and water systems and the construction of a new convention center at the Aqueduct Racetrack.
Adams also discussed the proposed reevaluation and consolidation of state programs and agencies, the proposed cap on administrative costs and executive compensation, a $370 million state take-over of Medicaid growth costs to counties, and state employee pension reform.