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By Rick Karlin

June 14, 2011

The Capitol is overflowing with groups pushing their agendas today, from same sex marriage supporters to those seeking higher pay for farm workers, to SUNY students who have been rattling tin cups in symbolic protest against what they say is inadequate funding.

Then there are the job seekers. Actually, labor-backed groups under the heading of ALIGN, or Alliance for a Greater New York who are wondering what’s happening with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to create regional development councils to coordinate economic growth, especially upstate.

They held a “sleuth,” press conference earlier in the day to launch a symbolic search for the councils and the governor’s overall plan to bring businesses into the state.

“With the state legislature one week away from adjourning, Governor Cuomo and the Legislature have failed to put the issue of jobs on the state agenda. Regional Economic Development Councils, proposed as the new administration’s flagship jobs program, have yet to be created and few details have emerged about their future mission and operation,” noted a release from the organization.

ALIGN’s communications director Kristi Barnes (with magnifying glass) pointed out that there’s been a distinct lack of news about these councils from the governor’s office lately. Among the unanswered questions: who will staff these councils and will they include representatives of organized labor and others as well as top business people.

To be sure, Cuomo has a lot on his plate this week, not the least of which includes getting a tax cap/rent regulation bill passed as well as same sex marriage and attending a fund-raiser tonight. Moreover, some have suggested the sheer level of challenge in revising upstate’s rusty economy hasn’t resulted in a flood of people willing to serve on these councils...

To read the full article, visit the Capitol Confidential.