June 7, 2007

Long overdue reforms

First an article on empire zone overhaul. Why are we just getting around to this now? There needs to be more of a guarantee that the tax benefits will equal jobs. Even those investigative reporters at the Post Standard were talking about this months ago, so clearly it must be an obvious problem.

The second article is actually from May, but I'll comment on it now. The "Upstate Now" plan "is not simply the best plan to revitalize the Upstate economy, it is the only plan for Upstate to be advanced in Albany this year," Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno said. Well, I would tend to dislike that statement. I don't think the fact that it's the only plan we put together in any way implys that this is the best plan. However, I do have some positive comments on the plan proposed in the State Senate.

1) tax rebates and credits for small businesses and companies using alternative energy. Both good ideas if we can pay for it. The alternative energy benefit seems particulary time relevant as my price to fill up keeps rising.
2)Update infrastructure: Negative comments here. The bill proposes high speed trains connecting cities, and modernizing roads, bridges, and sewers. Not sure how many people use the train anymore, particularly to get to, for example, Utica. Sounds neat but in a "high speed ferry" sort of fashion. As for modernizing roads, wtf have all those construction crews been doing? I can never go anywhere without running into construction and we're proposing more?
3)A new business hotline at 511, offering advice 7 days a week. Do we really want to turn to NY state for advice on running a business?
4)"Strengthen the work force:" this section proposes more online learning and high tech high schools. This sounds like the type of training we need to attract businesses to the area. Let's ditch that business hotline and spend more on the education part of the bill.

That's it, that's all I got for now.

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