Wait, let me think this through. New York State is facing a $10 Billion deficit this year alone, and even more in the next couple of years. New Governor Andrew Cuomo is promising no new taxes and is planning on cutting and slashing state spending with the support of most legislators and so far, most of the citizens of the state. We are going to see painful cuts in public school aid, Medicaid, aid to local governments and on and on. Across the board cuts, and no new taxes you might believe.
Not so fast. Last week we learned that something close to $75 million dollars remains in the state budget to support the purchase of land and other costs associated with a new downtown Albany convention center that is projected to cost in excess of $200 million. The history of big construction projects in the Capital City suggests that it will actually cost much more than that.
The project has been pushed by Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings and other politicians and some business leaders in the Capital District, but many people are still confused as to why this project is moving forward.
There are options, such as putting much less money into the convention center across the street from the Capitol or not building this potential White Elephant at all.
Come on Governor, does this make sense? You are proposing huge cuts in aid to schools and localities and 10% cuts to Medicaid, but we are going to continue to move forward with this folly in downtown Albany? Really?