COLUMN: Stage Set for New Legislative Year in Albany, but Will Albany Deliver?

— Energy superhighway

The State of the State address talked about energy and how we need to connect the dots from the energy creators to the energy consumers by creating an "Energy Superhighway." I couldn't agree more. This would particularly benefit our region, as we already have several power plants, both hydro and nuclear, that can and do provide energy to New York City. If the state were to create this Energy Superhighway, this would also create more high-paying jobs. Our region is already poised to capitalize on such a "highway."

Agency, government consolidation

According to the comptroller's office, New York has 1,000 state agencies, authorities and commissions. (Yes, you read that right: 1,000.) No state needs this much government. Last year we saw some agency consolidation take place but not enough. We were able to consolidate the Division of Probation and Correctional Alternatives, State Commission of Correction, Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and the Office of Victim Services within the Department of Criminal Justice Services, for example. A new Consolidated Funding Application was also instituted last year. This was done to allow organizations to apply for multiple funding sources for one project.

Job creation, tourism

I sponsor legislation that, if passed, would accomplish a goal similar to what the Governor said he wants to accomplish in making our Central and Upstate New York regions tourist destinations. By promoting our assets such as our lakes, mountains, streams, trails and wildlife, we have the potential to be a premiere destination for outdoor enthusiasts (Bill A4178). A successful marketing campaign would draw more people to our towns, villages and cities who have the money to spend on lodging, food, fuel and licenses to hunt, fish or snowmobile. I look forward to working further with the Governor's office to make this happen.

Assemblyman Will Barclay represents residents of Assembly District 124, which includes Lysander. He can be reached by mail at 200 North Second St., Fulton, NY 13069, by e-mail at barclaw@assembly.state.ny.us or by phone (598-5185).

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