Non-Profit, Local Government, Economic Development and Business Groups Say Legislative Impasse is Costing Jobs and Money

ALBANY, N.Y. -- A broad coalition of not-for-profit, municipal, economic development and business groups today urged the Governor and state lawmakers to act immediately on dozens of stalled construction projects across the state totaling over $2 billion.

Work on the projects -- including new construction, expansion and refurbishment of nursing homes, hospitals, group homes and affordable housing – was halted when a state law authorizing local Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs) to finance not-for-profit construction expired on January 31st. And a bill re-authorizing IDA financing of not-for-profit construction is stalled in the State Legislature.

Top officials at the state's leading business, municipal and not-for-profit associations all decried the impasse:

Margery Ames, Esq. Executive Director of the InterAgency Council of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Agencies, said: “IDAs play a critical role in helping not-for-profit organizations complete needed construction projects. Without authorization to finance such projects, there's often no alternative financing particularly for small and multi-cultural agencies.”

Kenneth Adams, President and CEO of the Business Council of New York, said: “Our economy desperately needs new investment. These projects are ready to proceed but are being held up in Albany. It is imperative that the Governor and legislative leaders provide new authorization for IDAs to do what they are supposed to do – promote investment and create jobs.”

Peter A. Baynes, Executive Director of the New York State Conference of Mayors, said:  "This legislative stalemate is crippling one of the very few economic development tools that local communities have at their disposal to help grow their local economies.  We are urging immediate reauthorization of IDA financing for not-for-profit construction projects."

Carl Young, President of the New York Association of Homes & Services for the Aging, said: “At a time when New York is on the brink of a steadily growing over-65 population, the state should be doing everything possible to facilitate the development of senior housing, retirement communities, nursing homes and assisted living. IDA financing is an essential tool for New York's not-for-profit provider organizations. Shutting off their access to IDA financing will ultimately result in fewer projects being developed, fewer affordable choices for seniors and their families and in the final analysis, greater expense to taxpayers as many of these individuals are forced into more expensive care settings."

Kathryn Wylde, President & CEO of the Partnership for New York City, said: “Deteriorating economic conditions and a terrible credit market mean that New York State needs all the financing tools it can muster to create jobs and support growth. Albany needs to act quickly to pass the IDA renewal bill. We commend Assemblyman Morelle and Senator Little for championing this legislation.”

Jeff Bray of the New York State Economic Development Council said, “Not for profit charitable institutions, such as colleges, hospitals, and continuing care retirement communities are often the largest employers in our communities. Inaction by the legislature and Governor to make this law permanent means that these employers have had to place on hold their growth and investment plans. This hurts economic development in our communities and diminishes the quality of life for those who receive services from these institutions.”

Stephen J. Acquario, Executive Director of the New York State Association of Counties, said: “All across the state, major projects that create jobs and boost local economies while improving services are being delayed and in some cases jeopardized. Albany needs to pass new legislation as soon as possible.”

Seth P. Stein, Executive Director and General Counsel of the Alliance of Long Island Agencies, Inc. stated that, "The protracted IDA sunset impacted and continues to impact our member agencies' ability to provide residential, day and educational services to hundreds of children and adults with mental retardation and other developmental disabilities."

Seth Pinsky, Chairman of the New York City Industrial Development Agency, said: “Vital not-for-profit, education, healthcare and community service projects have been stymied by the ongoing stalemate on IDA reform in Albany,” “Failure to move forward with these projects compromises important services that these not-for-profits provide, as well as the jobs that come with their projects. We hope for a rapid resolution to this impasse.”

Andrew J. Rudnick, President  and CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, said:  "In an effort to steer IDA programs into what would be a very costly direction, an important economic development tool is being held hostage by Albany. There is no reason why millions of dollars of investment must be stalled statewide while legislators bicker over the specifics of IDA reform. It is time for the legislature to set these projects back in motion - and restore the jobs associated with them - by extending the civic facilities component of the IDAs."

Members of the coalition said that many of their projects would be cancelled if legislation authorizing IDA financing is not approved soon.

The coalition is calling on the Governor and the Legislature to extend the law by enacting A.2557 (Morelle)/S.2684 (Little).