Assemblyman Kevin Cahill (D - Ulster / Dutchess), Chair of the Assembly Energy Committee, announced today that the City of Kingston will play host to a roundtable discussion on the future of New York State's low cost power economic development programs. The meeting is a part of a series of hearings being held around the state to collect input from businesses, trade groups and the public to help shape legislation that will guide the allocation of resources from the New York Power Authority. The event will be held in the Garden Lounge of the Governor Clinton Building on Wednesday, October 14th at 1pm.
"New York's low cost power programs, while instrumental in helping to create and protect hundreds of thousands of jobs, have failed to keep pace with a rapidly evolving economic landscape," said Assemblyman Cahill. "We need to overhaul these initiatives to make sure they are addressing the needs of emerging industries and providing businesses with the stability and continuity they need to make the investments that will create jobs here in New York."
Led by the Energy Committees in the Assembly and Senate, lawmakers have been traveling the state meeting with business leaders, trade groups, advocates and the general public to better understand the value of the Power Authority's programs and consider new ideas about how to improve them. The law authorizing several of the programs, including Power for Jobs, is set to expire during the spring of 2010.
"These programs need reform; simply extending them for another year is no longer an option," said Assemblyman Cahill. "This open dialogue is about creating a viable, attractive long term low cost power initiative that will encourage new development here in the Hudson Valley and throughout the State."
Earlier this year, the Governor signed legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Cahill (A.9039 / S.6031) continuing the Power for Jobs and Energy Cost Savings Benefit Programs through May 15, 2010. The bill contained provisions aimed at jumpstarting the process of reforming the economic development initiatives.
Key Provisions of the Legislation:
extended the expiring Power for Jobs and Energy Cost Savings Benefit Programs through May 15, 2010;
required that the Power Authority in coordination with the Department of Economic Development provide reports detailing the information necessary to assess the existing low cost power programs including a review of the performance of all program participants to date;
required that a representative sample of all beneficiaries of the Authority's low cost power programs undergo an Authority funded comprehensive energy audit,
required the Power Authority to issue a report to the Governor and the Legislative Leaders on the energy audit program; and
provided for expedited renewal of the benefits provided under these programs.
"We understand how vital low cost power programs are to the success of New York's economy. That is why we are committed to creating a new, permanent program in the coming year," Assemblyman Cahill concluded.