Paterson Proposes High-Tech Fix for Economy

Gov. David Paterson isn't letting record low poll numbers get him down. The governor revealed his post recession plan for New York today that relies heavily on investing in new technologies as he continues an uphill re-election climb.

“Now, it is time to take bold new steps to prepare New York to lead the New Economy," Paterson said in a speech at the New York Academy of Sciences in lower Manhattan. "We need to start by creating a fertile environment for entrepreneurship.”

The state will spend up to $100 million in the next few years on technology and research by adding a 10 percent match to projects that receive federal stimulus grants, Gov. David Paterson said Monday.

"A new economy is emerging: an economy based on knowledge, technology and innovation," Paterson said.

Susan Solomon, chief executive of the New York Stem Cell Foundation, applauded the idea of matching grants and said she hopes to secure some of the funds for stem cell research.

“It's really smart because New York state then doesn't have to set up its own review process,” Solomon said. “It basically can take something that's been peer-reviewed ... and just say, 'Here, let's turbocharge it.”'
Solomon said she has applied for millions of dollars in stimulus grants that will be awarded this summer.
“If we get a $5 million grant, then we get another half a million dollars,” she said. “If you figure it costs us about $150,000 to have a post-doc and a graduate student, it gets another project done.”

The plan will cost the state $25 million in its current budget and the rest will be funded in future budgets. Despite the hefty cost, an aide to Paterson told The New York Daily News said that any job created in the "innovative sector" leads to 3.5 jobs created overall.

Paterson's plan calls for the state to rely on renewable energy, clean technology, smart-grid energy, nanotechnology, stem cells, biomedicine, broadband and information technology, and cybersecurity to diversify the Empire State's economic base.

Paterson wants the future state economy to rely less on Wall Street fat cats and more on other sectors to help fill the state's tax coffers.

"We became far too reliant on a few juggernauts to drive economic growth, and now we're paying the price," Paterson said. "But New York will renew itself."

Paterson's plan has a positive tone to it, a far cry from the doom and gloom budget press conferences he's been giving since December. The governor may be hoping a week long blitz of positive politicking will help turning around his flailing poll numbers.

Only 19 percent of New Yorkers thought Paterson was doing a good job in a Marist Poll released last month.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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