Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Comedian Cuomo doubles down on doubling up

By GREGORY ZELLER // In case New York’s 62 county executives thought Gov. Andrew Cuomo was joking – he wasn’t. The governor visited Suffolk County’s H. Lee Dennison administration building Wednesday morning to double down on two mandates he laid out during January’s state-of-the-state tour: an extension of New York’s “millionaire’s tax” and a call for county leaders to rally the state’s disparate local governments on a cost-sharing quest. Cuomo was in fine comedic form;…


Island wastewater work snags state support

More than $8 million in New York State Environmental Facilities Corp. grants and low-interest loans is flowing to two Long Island wastewater projects. The funds – made available through a combination of grant awards and zero- and low-interest loans provided by the EFC – are part of $40 million in wastewater support announced Thursday by the Facilities Corp.’s Board of Directors. The Town of North Hempstead received a package totaling $1.9 million – including a…


Albany backs Island downtown-rehab efforts

Three Long Island downtown-restoration projects were among 75 statewide rehabilitation efforts earning state funds Thursday through Albany’s Restore New York Communities initiative. All told, project manager Empire State Development – Albany’s main economic-development engine – doled out nearly $40 million in Round 4 of the competitive initiative, which Gov. Andrew enacted as part of the state’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget Round 4 began in June 2016 with statewide towns and villages applying for program funds…


LIPA approves nation’s largest offshore wind farm

By GREGORY ZELLER // Thar she blows. The Long Island Power Authority Board of Trustees has voted to approve the nation’s largest offshore wind farm in Long Island waters. As proposed by Rhode Island-based Deepwater Wind, the 90-megawatt South Fork Wind Farm – also New York State’s first offshore wind energy-harvesting operation – will be located 30 miles southeast of Montauk. The farm, which officials have repeatedly asserted will be out of sight of Long…


Long Island bridges cross FY2018 spending plan

Two Long Island bridges are among more than 100 key New York crossings earning a line in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s FY2018 budget proposal. Suffolk County would receive $11.5 million to put toward ongoing rehabilitation of the Horseblock Road bridge over Long Island Avenue and the Long Island Rail Road in Medford, while Nassau County would receive $5 million to support work on the Merrick Road bridge over Milburn Creek in Baldwin, according to the governor’s…


The end is nigh for sputtering Start-Up NY

By GREGORY ZELLER // While several components of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed FY2018 budget will probably meet resistance in Albany’s corridors of power, at least one is likely to sail straight to legislative approval: the end of the Start-Up NY program. While not officially terminating Empire State Development’s underachieving economic-development effort, the governor’s spending plan purposefully rebrands it: Say hello to the Excelsior Business Program (but make it quick, because phonetic similarities to the existing…


Cuomo runs up $152 billion tab, tax cuts included

By GREGORY ZELLER // After a whirlwind state-of-the-state tour outlining billions in state-funded regional initiatives, Gov. Andrew Cuomo whipped out his spending card Tuesday. Referencing six years of “fiscal discipline” and promising to reduce taxes, Cuomo unveiled a proposed FY2018 Executive Budget that includes $152.3 billion in spending – much of it dedicated to “smart investments in New York’s future,” according to the governor’s office. Built around $98.06 billion in state operating funds, plus federal stipends,…


LI districts score big in $44M Smart Schools round

Roughly $13 million in technology upgrades are coming to 11 Long Island school districts through the state’s $2 billion Smart Schools program – including the two largest individual awards doled out this funding round. Funds besting $12.88 million for Island schools are part of about $44 million spread over 65 Smart Schools Investment Plans announced this week by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, marking the latest funding round through the Smart Schools Bond Act approved by voters…


Commuters sign on, big time, to third-track plan

By GREGORY ZELLER // Governor Andrew Cuomo has a lot of company on his ride along Long Island Rail Road’s “third track.” One day after the governor reiterated his commitment to the long-debated LIRR expansion project in a state-of-the-state address as Farmingdale State College, the Right Track for Long Island Coalition – a partnership of major organizations, institutions, businesses and individuals stumping for the railroad expansion plan – has released a pro-third track petition signed…


LI rainmakers applaud Albany’s life-science focus

By GREGORY ZELLER // A day before sharing his 2017 social and economic vision for Long Island, Gov. Andrew Cuomo offered some music for the Island’s ears. Cuomo, who on Monday delivered the Buffalo and New York City versions of his 2017 State of the State proposals, is scheduled to bring his annual SOTS tour east on Tuesday. But first, his office reaffirmed the governor’s plans to pump $650 million into the state’s burgeoning life-sciences…


Sanders salutes Cuomo’s $163M free-tuition plan

Middle-class families will send their kids to New York City and State public colleges tuition-free, if Gov. Andrew Cuomo gets his way. Flanked by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont), who made free tuition at all U.S. public colleges a cornerstone of his failed 2016 presidential campaign, Cuomo appeared Tuesday at LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City to propose free tuition for eligible New Yorkers at State University of New York or City University of…


With $650M bet, Cuomo all-in on life sciences

By GREGORY ZELLER // New York has launched a “groundbreaking” $650 million initiative to support life-science industries across the state. The initiative, announced Monday, will offer investment capital, operating support and tax incentives to companies dabbling in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and life-systems tech, as well as “organizations and institutions that devote the majority of their efforts to the various stages of research, development, technology transfer and commercialization,” according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office. Included in the…


LIREDC can’t win ’em all, but finds solace in $62M

By GREGORY ZELLER // While $62 million is nothing to sneeze at, it’s fair to say the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council was hoping for more. The LIREDC – a four-time “Top Performer” in Empire State Development’s annual funding contest, which marked the completion of its sixth round Thursday with an Albany awards ceremony – had submitted an ambitious agenda filled with 112 projects covering biotechnology, synthetics manufacturing, aerospace and half-a-dozen other key industries,…


Environmental statement pumps up ‘third track’

The Long Island Rail Road third-track plan will have “minimal” adverse effects, according to the project’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement – a report that marks a “major milestone” in the project’s evolution, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday. Trumpeting the LIRR’s strategy to “improve transit service, safety and quality of life for hundreds of thousands of Long Island commuters and residents,” the governor’s office heralded the 21-chapter statement, which details plans for a 9.8-mile “third track”…


Start-Up NY adds 39, including two LI companies

By GREGORY ZELLER // Thirty-nine early-stage companies, including two on Long Island, have been welcomed into the Start-Up NY program. The companies will either launch in or relocate to “tax-free zones” at or near New York colleges and universities – an ambitious program designed to let entrepreneurs hold onto working capital while simultaneously fostering innovation hubs and bolstering regional economies. The Long Island region will be bolstered by the creation of 26 new jobs, according…