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A marketing program to bolster economic development in Upstate New York and the creation of 10 high-technology incubators highlighted Gov. Andrew Cuomo plans for economic development during his annual State of the State speech Wednesday.
Cuomo’s Market NY initiative is designed to promote New York products, including the creation of duty-free stores statewide, he said. It includes a $5 million advertising competition for the best regional marketing plans, providing incentives for counties to work together.
Cuomo proposed a casino gaming plan for three upstate casinos, with 90 percent of gaming revenues going to education and 10 percent for local property tax relief.
He did not indicate where the casinos or the 10 high-tech incubators would be located.
The incubators, dubbed innovation hot spots, for inventors and entrepreneurs would be located in tax-free zones. Startups would not be subject to business, real property and sales taxes, Cuomo said.
Cuomo proposed the Innovation NY Network, a collaboration of academics, venture capitalists, business leaders, patent lawyers, and other professionals and entrepreneurs to grow the commercialization process, he said.
He also proposed a $50 million Innovation Venture Capital Fund for startups.
Cuomo wants to reform workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance regulations to save businesses $1.3 billion while increasing unemployment benefits for workers, he said.
He pledged to make New York a national leader in clean technology, including the formation of the NY Green Bank, a $1 billion entity that would leverage public dollars with a private-sector match.
Cuomo proposed raising the minimum wage to $8.75 an hour, up from $7.25.
He also pushed for longer school days, and steps to recruit and retain high-quality teachers and administrators.
Cuomo proposed the passage of “the toughest assault weapons ban in the country,” and reforms to the state’s campaign finance laws.
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