In This Section

By David Winzelberg

May 10, 2011

New York’s labor unions and community leaders are urging the state’s elected officials to support regional economic development councils in creating jobs.

In a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a coalition of unions, civic groups and churches asked t0 transform “the state’s often wasteful and ineffective economic development system into a refocused job-creation program that prioritizes performance standards, accountability and transparency.”

The coalition said the “sprawling and often confusing network of corporate subsidy programs costs state and local governments over $8.2 billion last year by some estimates.”

They’re asking for reforms that will demonstrate tangible benefits for working families and struggling communities. The group wants economic development entities to hold subsidy recipients true to their promises of jobs and investment by adopting subsidy-recapture mechanisms that provide a money-back guarantee for companies that default on their contract commitments.

The letter was signed by Denis Hughes, president of the New York AFL-CIO, Gary LaBarbera, president of the New York City Building and Construction Trades Council, Carol Kellermann, president of Citizens Budget Commission and more than 50 others.