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Friday headlines PM

Mar 25, 2011 4:20 pm
Senate GOP: Over $250 million restored to schools
Jimmy Vielkind of the Times Union reports that Senate Republicans left a closed-door conference on Friday afternoon, March 25, revealing details of what they say is a conceptual budget agreement reached with the Assembly and Gov. Andrew Cuomo. He says that elements of the "deal" include" restoration of between $250 million and $270 million in school aid from a proposed $1.5 billion cut proposed by Cuomo; No renewal of the income tax surcharge on New Yorkers making over $200,000 known as the "millionaire's tax;" a living wage provision for home care workers, part of the Medicaid Redesign Team’s recommendations, and a possible cap to medical malpractice payouts for pain and suffering;criteria for the governor's plan to cut prison beds designed to save jobs; and the probability of $130 million in capital appropriations being redirected toward regional economic development councils. “I think we’re very close," Vielkind quotes Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver saying later in the afternoon after speaking with his own caucus. "I don’t believe we have a conceptual agreement yet.”

Columbia County population up two—just two
Adam Sichko of the Albany Business Journal interviewed Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Roy Brown about the fact that the county gained only two residents over the past decade, according to the newly released U.S. Census data figures. Brown spoke about recent unemployment figures, spurred by two factory closings. “This is a beautiful rural county," Brown said. "We just don’t have the jobs we need here,”

Village considers sewer system creation
John Mason writes in the Register-Star about recent discussions in Kinderhook about the possibility of building a municipal sewer system to help turnaround a stagnant downtown economy that is hampered by having no more space for individual septic systems. Talk was of a sewer project that would service 35 parcels in the business district with a collection system that would connect to Valatie’s existing system. Because it connects two villages, the project would be eligible for grant funding from the state Shared Municipal Services Initiative.

Town partners with school district for Lafarge PILOT study
Hilary Hawke of the Ravena News reports that the Town of Coeymans and the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Board of Education have agreed to share consulting costs for a study to consider entering into a PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) agreement with Lafarge Cement Company, which is planning a $300 million renovation of its plant in Ravena. "Laurence R. Farbstein, Industrial and Utility Valuation Consultants, Inc., will be paid an equal amount by each, up to a maximum of $12,500 or $25,000, for the entire project," Hawke writes. "Farbstein will also explore the concept of Lafarge Cement funding the consultant costs in whole or in part."

Hispanic growth rate here outpaces nation
Kenneth Crowe of the Times Union reports that the Capital Region's Hispanic population grew nearly 80 percent, soaring past the national average over the past decade, according to 2010 Census data released on March 24. The region's 2010 Hispanic population is 35,103, or 77.49 percent more than the 19,777 in 2000. The high percentage growth reflects in part the smaller numbers that were counted in 2000, Crowe writes. The U.S. Hispanic population reached 50.5 million in 2010, up 43 percent from 35.3 million in 2000.

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