Albany, N.Y. --- Gov. Andrew Cuomo pitched a $136.5 billion spending plan Tuesday afternoon. It includes no new taxes or fees and holds spending growth under 2%
The Governor said his spending plan includes about $543 million in spending on his State of the State initiatives that include everything from $36 million to fund his new gun control laws to $25 million to fund full-day Pre-K in high need school districts.
Education spending would increase 4.4% ($889 million) or about $300 per-student in New York under the Governor’s proposed plan.
Spending to rebuild after Superstorm Sandy could cost $30 billion over the next several years but Gov. Cuomo and state lawmakers hope federal funding will assist with that cost.
Promoting tourism in Upstate New York also has the attention of Gov. Cuomo. He plans to spend an additional $5 million on the “I Love NY” campaign in the hopes of bringing more tourists to the region.
"The ‘I Love NY’ campaign which hasn't been very well funded in the past, if it does get funded like the Governor talks about it's just a win for Upstate," said Don Jeffries the new CEO of VisitRochester. "New York City, they don't have to advertise. New York City is the City, it's the big apple it’s fantastic; we just want our shot at Upstate to bring people Upstate so they can enjoy Rochester.”
A study of 2011 data by VisitRochester showed that the economic impact of tourists to Monroe County totaled $958 million. That translates into lots of jobs.
"15,000 equivalent full-time jobs related to tourism, 21,000 in the region,” Jeffries said. “And those are great full-time jobs that employ people and they in turn spend money back into the community so it is all about economic development.”
The Finger Lakes region is the fourth largest tourism region in the state yet 80% of the money spent by New York tourists’ stays in Long Island, New York City, or the Hudson Valley.
"We have a great community and once we get people to visit Rochester they want to come back, they want to see more of it," Jeffries said.
To see the complete budget proposal, click HERE