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Politics

The big wait: NYS budget coming tomorrow

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Here comes the budget.

Budget to be released tomorrow
Gannett's Albany bureau has a look at the political bickering we might be in for after the governor releases his budget proposal tomorrow.

Meanwhile, stem cell researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center are concerned that cuts in the state budget could affect their work, reports the Democrat and Chronicle:

“Nothing is clear,” said Mark Noble, director of the Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Institute at the medical center. “We’re told everything is on the table. We have to be concerned.” New York has one of the largest government-financed stem cell programs in the country. The Associated Medical Schools of New York, a consortium of 16 public and private institutions, recently released a report that highlighted the health and economic implications of the funding. The report said that state funding of stem cell research has led to more than 300 new jobs. At URMC, 83 positions were either created or maintained.

The innovation economy
The Star-Gazette has a look at how small businesses contribute to the economy:

Every business — large or small — and job is important, said Darcy Fauci, who oversees economic development as Broome County's deputy executive. But small businesses add much-needed diversity to a community. "We have to grow our own jobs," she said, noting that's why the county created a high-tech business incubator, the Greater Binghamton Innovation Center, at 123 Court St. in Binghamton. "We're not going to get one of these hundreds-of-jobs companies coming to look for a new location. Those just don't happen anymore like they used to."

Meanwhile, George Mason University professor Tyler Cowen asks in the New York Times if all of our innovating in the Internet era has done anything for our standard of living - or perhaps more importantly, our health:

Sooner or later, new technological revolutions will occur, perhaps in the biosciences, through genome sequencing, or in energy production, through viable solar power, for example. But these transformations won’t come overnight, and we’ll have to make do in the meantime. Instead of facing up to this scarcity, politicians promote tax cuts and income redistribution policies to benefit favored constituencies. Yet these are one-off adjustments and, over time, they cannot undo the slower rate of growth in average living standards.

Take out the trash
Albany's dump is filling up.  The Times Union reports it'll be full before the end of the decade, which means the region needs to find another place for its trash - and another way to raise the type of revenue that dumping fees generated.

Higher education
Binghamton University will be testing a new cancer drug - thanks to an alumni connection with the president and CEO of a Canadian pharmaceutical firm, reports the Press & Sun-Bulletin:

[Sunshine Biopharma CEO Steve Slilaty's] company entered into an agreement this week that will allow Binghamton University researchers to test Adva-27a, a compound Sunshine believes could be effective at killing breast and prostate cancer cells. "My family still lives there, and everyone has a special affinity for the town they grew up," said Slilaty, a researcher and professor at the Université du Québec. "Binghamton University has a very, very good biological sciences department and we think we can get the job done with them, and we're confident that this is the perfect relationship between our company and the university."

The New York Law Journal reports that the economy has stalled development of law schools at SUNY Stony Brook and St. John Fisher in Rochester, but that SUNY Binghamton is marching on with its plans:

SUNY's council of provosts has endorsed a Binghamton law school and the plan is now being examined by the central SUNY staff. It still needs the approval of the state Division of the Budget, the SUNY trustees, the Board of Regents and the governor. The school must also meet standards established by the American Bar Association. "Obviously, money is going to be an issue," said Jean-Pierre Mileur, Binghamton provost, in an interview this week. "Our preference would be that they approve the substance of the plan up to the point where we need the money. It could stall either because of the state's inability to provide us with funding or our inability to raise it."

The Post-Standard has a Q&A with a professor at Syracuse University who's won MacArthur Foundation funding to develop tools to check the accuracy of websites.

The Democrat and Chronicle reports that the University of Rochester has made its first cash grants to commercialize research.  A vaccine for dengue fever and nanomaterial fuel cells both got funding in the initial round.

The Buffalo News followed up on a report from the Commission on Independent in Colleges and Universities, noting that private schools dumped more than $1.3 billion into western New York's economy:

That’s up 8 percent from 2007. The Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities, a lobbying group for 113 private colleges and universities statewide, uses the figures to show how important the private higher-education sector is to the New York State economy.

Odd jobs
The Capitol Confidential blog notes that New York was in the top 10 of job creating states in 2010.  Texas is at the top of the list - New Jersey is at the bottom.

And the Democrat and Chronicle has a profile of the Rochester Museum and Science Center's "maintenance mechanic" - a job that involves, in practice, everything from dressing up as a cockroach, to licking minerals for an audience.

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