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Governor Andrew Cuomo announced early in his term that he'd be creating a set of "regional economic councils" to build plans for funding economic development across New York, from the ground up.In the summer of 2011 he finally announced some of the details of the program, to be led by Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy. The ten councils each have dozens of members, and are charged with gathering input from the public and business leaders, and creating a plan by November 14. Those plans will be pitted against each other for a pot of $1 billion in grants, incentives, and tax relief from various state agencies. The winners will get more funding, the losers will get less.But other details - like whether funding will be available past the initial term, and who will serve on the board that decides who wins and who loses - have not been released.The Innovation Trail is looking for your feedback about what your regional economic priorities are, and what you want your community to look like once the councils have completed their task.

Duffy on "good news" campaign ahead of regional councils announcement

Lieutenant Governor Bob Duffy continued his tour of economic bright spots Thursday.

This morning, it was a $2 million upgrade at GE’s Rochester facility.

Yesterday, it was a $3 million partnership between Carestream Health and the state’s Center of Excellence in Canandaigua.

And the day before that, it was the big kahuna: GM’s $100 million investment in its Rochester manufacturing plant.

At those events - as well as at others in recent days - Duffy’s message on behalf of the governor has been clear: “New York is open for business.”

He’s also taken the opportunity to outline a few details on the forthcoming regional economic councils that he’s been tasked with leading.

Duffy says he and Governor Cuomo will make an official announcement on the councils in the next two or three weeks.

“The whole point of the regional councils is to help each region build capacities, to help each area build on their core strengths,” said Duffy, speaking at Wednesday’s Carestream announcement.

Here are a few details about the councils, all according to Duffy on Wednesday:

  • There will be 10 councils across the state.
  • There will be roughly 30 to 40 people on each council.
  • Duffy will be chairing the 10 councils, but a leader from higher-ed and business will be “co-conveners” of each council.

“With these 10 regional councils, what the governor hopes to accomplish is to get this state moving again,” said Duffy.
Duffy says the goal is to use the councils to make decisions now that will improve the state’s long term economic health - with a focus on high-tech industries.

WXXI/Finger Lakes reporter for the Innovation Trail.
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