Geneseo hosted the regional presentation of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State Address and Executive Budget Plan for the upcoming fiscal year on Friday March 1.
Deputy Secretary for Economic Development of New York Leecia Eve represented Cuomo at the Geneseo presentation. According to a statement released by the governor’s office, Eve works closely with Cuomo as his chief adviser on economic development in her position.
Presentations occurred across the state and relayed the governor’s message to individual regions. They also provided citizens the opportunity to ask questions of the state officials currently serving.
The college was chosen to host the event because of the central role that it holds in the community, according to Vice President for Administration and Finance Jim Milroy. Individuals from both the college and community attended the event.
In her presentation, Eve spoke about the agenda that Cuomo outlined in his State of the State Address and the budget for 2013. Cuomo’s speech included plans for continued economic growth and job creation in the state. The address also suggested methods for improving the education system, maintaining good financial standing as a state and continuing recovery from Superstorm Sandy. Cuomo also spoke about strengthening gun laws.
Milroy said the issues in the budget that most directly apply to Geneseo are those of the maintenance of effort provision, the rational tuition bill and the financial problems faced by SUNY Downstate Medical Center.
The maintenance of effort provision and the rational tuition bill require the state to make efforts to keep the cost of higher education down. SUNY Downstate Medical Center is an academic medical center that provides education, undergoes research and cares for patients. According to Milroy, the center has been in a declining financial state for years.
“We’re hopeful that the legislature provides the $15 million that SUNY requests for the hospital so that other campuses are not negatively impacted by the lack of funds,” Milroy said. “If that’s not addressed by the legislature, there will be consequences not just for Geneseo but for virtually every other campus in the system.”
Milroy said that Eve’s visit directly benefitted Geneseo.
“We had an opportunity to present the particular commissioner that we got with our New York SUNY 2020 round two grant application for the Center of Inquiry, Discovery and Development,” he said.
If received, this NY SUNY 2020 grant would fund a new building to provide space for musical arts, technology and a small business center.
The governor’s budget also proposed the implementation of 10 regional business incubators, where environments would be created to foster entrepreneurial development.
“Our proposal is quite in line with what they’re proposing. Ours mirrors what he’s trying to create,” Milroy said. “I’m hopeful that they’ll read our proposal in light of some of the governor’s own economic development recommendations. We’re in pretty good stead there.”
Despite the dispersal of Cuomo’s 2013 agenda throughout the state, legislators in Albany have yet to decide and take action on the budget.