Senate Dems: Spend state surplus on jobs, not rebates
With less than two weeks left in the legislative session, Senate Democrats are staging a renewed push to pass a collection of 11 bills they claim will create thousands of jobs.
But the package would cost the state more than $100 million.
This past May, New York State collected more than $200 million in what legislators are calling “unanticipated revenue.” Instead of using the money to avoid layoffs at the state level, pay off debt, or give taxpayers a refund, Senate Democrats want to spend roughly half of it on new legislation with new spending.
“I believe that New Yorkers want to see job creation the main focus of legislators,” says Senator Tim Kennedy
Senate Democrats claim the bills will create 10,000 jobs, a number based on a theory that each $10,000 invested in the economy creates roughly one job. The federal stimulus package used the same reasoning when making its job predictions.
“We’re actually re-investing some of that unanticipated revenue back into the economy that’s going to help ultimately grow the economy, which will result, at the end of the day, in the creation of jobs and a stronger New York State economy that is going to bring in more revenue than ever before,” Kennedy says.
Included in the legislation is:
- $25 million dollars for a Niche Market Program that will help businesses with unique ideas
- $50 million to assist researchers and companies with high-end computing needs
When asked if the mechanisms and marketplaces in the bills will actually work, if funded, Kennedy replied “Without question.”
Whether the 11 bills will gain traction is another question, as legislators are debating more high-profile topics like a property tax cap and ethics reform.
“[Those bills] are either on third reading, which means they’re keyed up to be approved in the Senate. Or they’re in committee. The focus today was to put pressure on the leadership in both the leadership in the Senate and Assembly to force the issue of creating jobs,” Kennedy says.
The legislative session ends June 15.