Could Governor Cuomo’s green jobs plan be better?
Green jobs will be getting a whole pile of green, if the governor has his way. But some environmental groups are saying it's not enough.
During his State of the State address last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo called for setting aside $100 million to promote smart growth and sustainability projects. The money would be available in the form of competitive grants: local, private sector partnerships would present plans to create green jobs and reduce pollution, and the best plans would be rewarded with a piece of the pot.
It's a nice idea, according to John Sheehan, with the Adirondack Council - but it’s under-funded from the start.
“The amount of money is limited. The $100 million is a good start. But it’s not going to do very much more than scratch the surface the first year,” Sheehan tells the Innovation Trail.
Sheehan says the governor should tap into the Environmental Protection Fund - which is expected to be about $300 million this coming year - to help strengthen the initiative. Sheehan's also looking for specifics; he says what the governor presented in his State of the State lacked detail.
Michael Tucker, CEO for the Center for Economic Growth says it seems the governor gets it. With more than 2 million New Yorkers leaving the state in the past decade, Tucker says there needs to be a new approach at every level to retain people and create new jobs.
“I think [the competitive grants approach is] innovative, it’s responsible. It demonstrates the realization that we’re going to continue to have economic growth. But if we can have sustainable growth to ensure our quality of life is sustained, we will all be better off,” Tucker says.
Details of the plan are expected to be released in the governor’s first budget proposal - that’s due on February 1.