STATE OF UPSTATE

Well…I have to admit I was impressed with Eliot Spitzer’s “State of Upstate” address…what happens when someone is elected to office is that we want change overnight or last week…Spitzer received a lot of scrutiny from pundits all across the state last year just based on the whole F’n Streamroller attitude…some of it justified…some it just people ready to pounce…New York or Upstate can’t magically change…it is going to take some effort from Albany…New York is literally two states…you know this…I know this…what has happened here in WNY isn’t something that got broke last year…it has been a slow and steady culmination of a variety things which have brought us to where we are now.

Two things I found to be answers to helping Upstate in the speech which I feel are critical…

First this…

 However, even if we are successful, we must continue our efforts to address New York’s “perfect storm of unaffordability.” To return growth and prosperity to New York—to make our state the best place to live, work, raise a family and start a business—we must hold the line on costs for both families and businesses.

Last year, we made progress.

Working with our partners in the Legislature, and in the business and labor communities, we finally addressed our broken workers’ compensation system and unlocked $1.2 billion in savings for New York’s businesses.

Spitzer goes on to discuss how he wants to hold the line on taxes, look for ways to decrease the tax burden and help ease energy costs.

The second thing I found interesting…

Finally, on our trips Upstate, we learned that too little was being done to attract international investment.

The fact that we share hundreds of miles of border with Canada, and that we are so close to Montreal and Toronto, is one of our greatest opportunities. We should be marketing Upstate aggressively in Canada—especially now, when exchange rates favor foreign investment.

That is why our Budget will include funding for new efforts that tap international markets, including the creation of a new international marketing office within Upstate ESDC. These efforts will help our Upstate communities—especially our border communities like Plattsburgh, Ogdensburg, Niagara Falls and Buffalo—realize their potential for greater international investment.

I believe Southern Ontario is a goldmine…a mine for whatever reason WNY seems reluctant to take advantage of…there is absolutely no reason why Buffalo and WNY can’t be a gateway to Canada and vica versa.

The most important part of the speech isn’t really anything he said…it comes in the form of showing a high level of commitment to Upstate…surpassing anything his predecessors attempted.

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