JUNE 1998

Legislators heed Council's call for boost to "Power for Jobs" program

On the last day of the session, state legislators approved a bill to accelerate the current "Power for Jobs" program and to add 50 new megawatts to it. Power for Jobs is a statesupported program that provides lowcost power to employers that promise to retain or create instate jobs. Enhancing this successful jobcreation program has been a top Business Council prioritybecause the program helps reduce the impact of New York's aboveaverage power costs.

The program began this year, with 400 megawatts allocated over three years.

The program has been so successful that all of the 133 megawatts allocated in the first year was committed within five months, according to Kevin Lanahan, The Council's legislative analyst specializing in energy issues. Under the new bill, the 133 megawatts originally set aside for 1999 will be made available this year; 133 megawatts originally set aside for 2000 will be available in 1999; and 50 new megawatts have been added to the program for distribution in 2000.

Senator James Seward provided early leadership in the effort to enhance the program. He sponsored a bill calling for accelerating the current program and allocating an additional 400 megawatts to it.

The compromise bill moved through the Assembly on the last day of the session thanks to the support of Speaker Sheldon Silver. Speaker Silver had called for the acceleration of the available discounted power.

Governor Pataki is expected to sign the bill.

June 25, 1998