New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was at Marist College in Poughkeepsie today, touting his proposed budget with highlights in the Hudson Valley. He included a few announcements that came as news, mainly in the area of economic development.
Cuomo spoke about a number of budget items, from fighting the federal tax law to advancing the women’s agenda.
“We start with education, and then topical issues — fighting sexual assault, the environment, a democracy agenda, criminal justice reform,” says Cuomo. “I want to talk to you about the federal tax increase and the effect on New York; and then, how do you grow the economy because the economy is the train that, the engine that pulls the train.”
And he spoke to specific initiatives in the Hudson Valley, from modernizing Stewart Airport in Orange County to a $150 million Woodbury Transit Hub, also in Orange.
“We’re putting a Metro-North station at Woodbury Common so you don’t have to drive,” Cuomo says. “You can take the train.”
The Democrat announced two new developments in the food and beverage industry in the Hudson Valley.
“We’re going to be funding a joint venture between the CIA and a sake manufacturing company, creating 32 new jobs but, more importantly, great sake. Can you imagine, Culinary Institute of America sake, that’s going to be special,” says Cuomo. “We have an Indian food manufacturing company that’s coming in with 150 new jobs.”
The latter is a planned expansion of the New Windsor-based Café Spice food manufacturing facility across the river in Beacon, where Mayor Randy Casale says he looks forward to welcoming them.
“We’ve been working with Café Spice for some time now and the Dutchess County IDA with Ron Hicks and them. Hopefully we’re looking forward to that move for them to come," says Casale. "Still things have to be worked out, but it’s going to bring jobs to Beacon. It’s going to bring a good business company, a good business model. And we’re looking forward to having them in Beacon. In the near future, we’ll be making more announcements about it.”
And, as Cuomo mentioned, his budget supports a $28 million sake brewery at the CIA in Hyde Park. He says the partnership between the CIA and Asahi Shuzo International would establish New York’s largest sake brewery and first sake brewery in the Hudson Valley. Construction would begin this spring with a scheduled opening in early 2019.
Republican Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, who is reconsidering his decision not to run for governor, says Dutchess had been working for some time to attract the sake maker and Café Spice. Molinaro says the governor’s portrayal of New York’s state of affairs, however, was missing information.
“I think average New Yorkers understand that our economy is still sluggish, the taxes are still too high and that the state, overall, is adrift and broken in many ways, and I’d like to hear more about that,” Molinaro says. “I’d like our state leaders, I’d like the governor and anyone else, to talk seriously about the fact that we have a broken government that, too often, I think, makes decisions from the top.”
Molinaro says the cost of living and doing business in the state need to be reduced. Democratic Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas commends the governor’s budgetary agenda.
“The governor has a vision to make sure New York makes more business sense, and leveling the playing field in terms of a new tax system is the right direction to go,” says Thomas.
Cuomo says his budget continues a middle-class tax cut and takes action to protect New Yorkers from the impacts of what he calls a federal tax assault, and advances efforts to improve New York's business climate and fairness of the tax system.
In 2017, Cuomo announced an $8 million investment to build a gondola at Belleayre Ski Resort. The gondola recently opened, and Cuomo says the proposed budget includes an additional $10 million in new capital funding for upgrades to Belleayre.