A multimillion-dollar package to benefit Momentive Performance Materials was passed by the state Senate Tuesday and was on track to be passed by the Assembly.
Assembly Majority Leader Ron Canestrari, D-Cohoes, said the bill would involve Momentive moving major office operations to a new building to be constructed off the Interstate 90 spur in East Greenbush. He said 250 people would be employed at the facility, but only 150 of those jobs would be new to this region because 100 would be moving to East Greenbush from the Momentive manufacturing facility in Waterford. Other Momentive jobs would be transferred from Connecticut to East Greenbush.
Canestrari said the deal would benefit the Waterford plant — which used to be GE Silicones — by making the jobs there more secure and preparing the way for expansion there. He said the company is investing $150 million over five years and will benefit from $95 million in state tax benefits. Momentive had missed a prior deadline to apply for Empire Zone benefits, the Assembly majority leader said.
Canestrari said Sen. Joseph Bruno, R-Brunswick, also is providing additional state financial incentives to facilitate the East Greenbush project but could not provide exact figures.
Scott Reif, a spokesman for Bruno, confirmed that the bill (S8682-B) passed the Senate Tuesday but could not provide additional information Tuesday evening.
At a news conference earlier Tuesday, Bruno said a major local project would soon be announced.
In other legislative action this week, a package of bills to protect children and adults in residential care was passed by the Legislature. It had the support of the family of Jonathan Carey, a mentally retarded and autistic 13-year-old who was killed last year by an aide at the O.D. Heck Residential Center in Niskayuna.
Michael Carey, Jonathan’s father, said he has some concerns that the bills do not go far enough and will be working in the future to try to get the Legislature to toughen the laws. Still, he said, the package does represent a significant improvement.
According to a statement from Gov. David Paterson, “The reforms will target four specific areas, including enhancing the standards used to determine if abuse has occurred, extending the time period for retroactive requests for information under Jonathan’s Law, prohibiting the withholding of food or hydration, and making recommendations as to appropriate work hours for direct care employees in mental hygiene facilities.”
Carey was trying to get an additional bill passed toughening penalties, making the offense of endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person a felony instead of a misdemeanor. That measure had passed the Senate but not the Assembly, and Morgan Hook, a spokesman for Paterson, said it was not part of the agreed-upon package.
A bill to pass a one-time property tax increase in the town of Colonie died in the Senate after being passed by the Assembly.
Another bill passed by the Senate and on track to be passed by the Assembly would provide several million dollars in annual payments in lieu of taxes to the city of Albany from the state for the Harriman State Office Campus.
The bill to expand the bonding authority of the Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority appeared to be on track to pass the Assembly, according to its sponsor, Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco, R-Schenectady. It had already passed the Senate.
Both houses passed a series of tax bills restoring exemptions to Schenectady nonprofits, including Faith Deliverance Tabernacle, Carver Community Center, Calvary Orthodox Presbyterian Church and the Ancient Order of Hibernians.
A bill permitting the cities of Gloversville and Johnstown and the town of Johnstown to have a tax sharing agreement did not appear likely to pass the Assembly, according to a spokesman for Sen. Hugh Farley, R-Niskayuna.
Another bill that would permit the state to sell a vacant group home on Schenectady’s Brandywine Avenue to the Northeast Parent and Child Society also appeared in trouble in the Assembly.
So did a bill to let the town of Malta create a special taxing district for the Luther Forest Technology Park, according to Assemblyman Sam Hoyt, D-Buffalo, chairman of the Local Government Committee.
All those bills passed the Senate.
One bill that passed both houses would ease the way for a disabled Schenectady police detective to retire. The bill makes the detective, Michael Kelly, eligible for the state’s Optional Twenty Year Retirement Program.
Kelly is currently not eligible to collect retirement benefits until he has served 30 years on the force. He is currently credited with 27 years. He has been out sick for most of the past three years because his feet have been injured and infected as a result of diabetes.
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Categories: Schenectady County