E-Mail Newsletter – January 18, 2015

Much has been said about the incredible impact that the “Buffalo Billion” economic development package has had on Western New York. This week, Governor Cuomo proposed a new competition to encourage new private development in Upstate New York - which must be approved by the legislature as a part of the budget process.

Details are linked here on the $1.5 billion to be divvied into three $500 million packages in which seven regions will compete. This is an opportunity to address a number of needs in the Capital Region to boost economic development, encourage entrepreneurship, and create new jobs - though I question the high stakes part of this competition in distributing funds for economic needs throughout Upstate.

I will share more updates after next week’s State of the State address on Wednesday.

Albany, Bethlehem lay out visions for the year. Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan delivered her 2015 State of the City on Wednesday, touting improvements to public safety while announcing an agreement with SUNY Polytechnic Institute to providing $500,000 a year over three years as highlights for this year.

In Bethlehem, Town Supervisor John Clarkson delivered his fourth State of the Town address, building on the recent successes in Vista Park, and related economic development and quality of life enhancements.

Honoring Martin Luther King's legacy. New York State Memorial Observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is this Monday, Jan. 19 at 9:30 a.m. at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center. A morning program commemorating the life of Dr. King with calls to action to keep the spirit of Dr. King alive will be followed by the beloved Community March on Madison Avenue (Plaza Concourse level) and conclude at the King Monument in Lincoln Park with a wreath-laying ceremony.

Albany Chef’s Food and Wine Festival this weekend. The Albany Wine and Dine for the Arts Festival kicked off Thursday with the Mayor's Opening Reception at Albany City Hall. This annual event helps raise funds for the city's arts organizations such as Park Playhouse and the Albany Institute of History & Art. For more information on events and how to purchase tickets, please visit the Albany Wine Fest Web site.

New York State Board of Regents Appointments. The terms of seven members of the New York State Board of Regents ends this year. The 17-member Board of Regents are responsible for the general supervision of all educational activities within New York, presiding over The University and the New York State Education Department. The Regents are organized into standing committees, subcommittees and work groups whose members and chairs are appointed by the Chancellor. The Board will also vote on a new Education Commissioner to replace John B. King Jr.

TU Job Fair this Monday, January 19. The Times Union Job Fair will be held on Martin Luther King Day this Monday, Jan. 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Albany Marriott (189 Wolf Road, Colonie). For more information, please visit their Web site.

Legislative Office Building Open House on January 23rd. You’re invited to join us for our annual open house on Jan. 23 from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. You will have the opportunity to see our most recent art exhibits, including Albany photographer Mike Brown in one space and artists who participate in the Machine Creative Co-op in the other. For details and to RSVP, visit the Facebook event.

Job Opportunities: New York State has setup a new job portal entitled Jobs Express, where thousands of private and public sector jobs are listed. Visit jobs.ny.gov for more information on how to apply for these opportunities.

As always, for the latest news or for upcoming events, please visit my office online on Facebook, on Twitter. or my Times Union blog. If you would like to reach my office, please feel free to send us a note.

Sincerely ---