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Local legislators split on Amazon withdrawal

Local legislators split on Amazon withdrawal

'Socialist politicians' blamed by some
Local legislators split on Amazon withdrawal
Community members rally against Amazon's proposed headquarters in Long Island City in Queens on Nov. 14.
Photographer: New York Times

CAPITAL REGION -- The Daily Gazette collected reactions from several local state legislators to Amazon's decision to drop a plan to build a new headquarters in New York City.

Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh, R-Ballston: "I get the overall concept that sometimes we have to spend money to get companies to come. But the incentives were so high, and Amazon being such a wealthy company, I think if there had been more transparency, I don't think there would be the backlash that there was. Virginia offered one-third of the incentives, but there, the package of incentives went through the state Legislature. I just think the way this was gone about was not good."

Assemblyman Phil Steck, D-Colonie: "I"m not shedding any particular tears on this. I didn't see what was in it for my constituents. It would have taken 10 years to get the [$3 billion in incentives] back. When you take a behemoth like Amazon and then put it in a place that is already attracting jobs, it just doesn't make sense to offer those incentives. If it was coming to Kingston or Albany or Schenectady or Utica or Syracuse or Buffalo, that would be different. It makes a lot more sense to put it in a place where not a lot of people want to come."

More from this week: Our top stories Feb. 9-15, 2019

State Sen. George Amedore, R-Rotterdam: "With today’s decision that they will not locate a new headquarters in New York City, Amazon has cemented the impression that New York is NOT open for business. It’s shameful that a handful of socialist politicians chased away this opportunity – it was a disservice not only to their constituents, but to the entire state of New York, because what this state needs is to attract employers who are going to create good-paying jobs and help us build a strong economy."

State Sen. James Tedisco, R-Glenville: "Look no further than the Senate majority who are porch pirates because they stole this Amazon package right under the governor's nose! The decision by Amazon to pull out of its deal with New York falls under the adage: Be careful what you wish for because you might just get it. When you have one voice, from one part of the state, from one political affiliation, you empower the extreme, radical regressives who have taken over the Legislature to negatively impact our state's economy.

"We'd love to have Amazon in the 49th Senate District and those 25,000 jobs. A good portion of that $3 billion promised to Amazon should now go to repair the failing infrastructure in the towns and villages in upstate New York, including restoring the $60 million in cuts to (Aid and Incentives to Municipalities) funding that the governor cut for towns and villages."

 Assemblyman Robert Smullen, R-Meco: "Why did the governor want to hand out over $3 billion of taxpayer dollars to one of the richest companies in the world in the first place? The governor found $3 billion to give to Amazon, while upstate communities receive pennies on the dollar in state aid. Now that he’s not, we should reinvest that money into our upstate communities, since middle-class families and small businesses aren't receiving the same generous handouts offered to corporations and the governor’s campaign donors.

We’re facing a $3 billion budget deficit, a $2.3 billion revenue shortfall and a continuing outflow of over a million residents, so this was just an irresponsible use of taxpayer dollars.”

More from this week: Our top stories Feb. 9-15, 2019

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