March 11, 2015
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Details Upstate Agenda - More Than $10 Billion Specifically Targeted For Upstate New York, Representing Largest Upstate Investment in Modern History

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Over Past Four Years, State Has Made More Than $15 Billion in Capital Investments Upstate


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today traveled to Rochester to deliver an address to the Rochester Rotary and Rochester Business Alliance regarding his Upstate agenda and Executive Budget, in which he detailed the $10 billion in capital investments that are specifically targeted for Upstate.

The $10 billion in capital investments represent the highest amount proposed specifically for Upstate in modern history and builds off of the more than $15 billion in capital investments the State has made Upstate over the past four years. As part of today’s address, the Governor discussed in detail two programs to continue the State's focus on growing the Upstate economy: the Regional Economic Development Councils (REDCs), and a new program, the Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI).

“Upstate New York has turned the corner after decades of neglect that it used to see from state government – and now it’s time to make that progress permanent by making the largest investment in the region in modern political history,” Governor Cuomo said. “Our proposal for more than $10 billion isn’t just about injecting capital into the region, it’s about investing in the talent and sophistication and potential that these communities have always had but have yet to be fully realized. It’s about believing in Upstate again, and saying to New Yorkers throughout the region that we do stand with them, and that better days are yet to come. That is why the Legislature needs to pass our Upstate Economic Revitalization plan this year, because Upstate communities have waited long enough.”


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The below table details the $10 billion in capital investments included in the Governor's Upstate agenda and 2015-16 Executive Budget.


(dollars in thousands)


Higher Education


SUNY State-Operated and Statutory Colleges


SUNY Community Colleges





Transportation, Economic Development, Energy & Environment


Parks NY Works


Environmental Protection Fund


State Fair Capital


State Fair Revitalization


Hudson Valley and Southern Tier Farm Initiative


NYS Agriculture Experiment Station


Advanced Grid Innovation Laboratory For Energy


76 West Clean Energy Competition


Western New York Nuclear Service Center


MTA Metro North Experience


Transit Capital


Highways and Bridges (DOT & CHIPS)


New New York Bridge including Thruway Stabilization Program




Clarkson-Trudeau Partnership


Olympic Regional Development Authority Capital Improvements


NY SUNY 2020


Upstate Revitalization Initiative


Broadband Initiative


Transformative Infrastructure


Cornell Veterinary College


Binghamton University School of Pharmacy


New York Power Electronics Manufacturing Consortium





Health, Human Services and Housing




Oneida County Healthcare Facility Transformation


Grants for Rural Healthcare Transformation


Affordable and Homeless Housing





Public Protection and General Government


Empire State Plaza


Harriman State Campus


Upstate Buildings (Dulles, Homer Folks)


Preventive Maintenance for OGS Buildings


Rehabilitation & Improvement Program for OGS Buildings







The $4 billion New New York Bridge funding includes support from the $1.285 billion Thruway Stabilization Program to mitigate Upstate toll increases.

At the center of Governor Cuomo's economic development agenda for 2015 are two programs – a fifth round of the Regional Economic Development Councils (REDCs), and a new program, the Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI).

About the Upstate Revitalization Initiative:

Unveiled by the Governor in January, the proposed Upstate Revitalization Initiative is designed to replicate the proven success of the Buffalo Billion. Regions across Upstate New York will be offered the opportunity to pursue their own targeted economic transformation plans. Under the competition, Upstate regions (except for Western New York) will compete for $1.5 billion that is divided into three awards. The winners will receive $500 million over five years.

About the Regional Economic Development Councils:

Launched by the Governor in 2011, the Regional Economic Development Councils (REDCs) fundamentally changed state government's approach to economic development. Instead of a top down, Albany-centered process of distributing economic development aid, each of the state's ten regions were charged to work together to identify strengths, areas for growth, and present a competitive application each year with economic projects that will support long term growth through the Regional Economic Development Awards. Over the last four years, the REDCs have invested nearly $3 billion for more than 3,100 projects through the Awards, helping support the creation and retention of more than 150,000 new jobs. This year, the Governor has included in the Executive Budget $750 million for a fifth round – approximately $600 million of which will be allocated to Upstate.

How will the Upstate Revitalization Initiative & Regional Economic Development Awards work together this year?

By design, the Upstate Revitalization Initiative & Regional Economic Development Awards will run concurrently, ensuring all regions benefit from the Governor's increased focus and the state's increased investment in job creation this year.

The Upstate regions (except for Western New York) will compete for one of three $500 million awards disbursed over five years. The remaining seven regions – statewide – will be considered for the majority of the $750 million in REDC funding. With fewer regions competing for the majority of these REDC funds, each region will be positioned to receive far more funding than in years past. With both the Upstate Revitalization Initiative and the Regional Economic Development Awards, approximately $130 million will be awarded for the top place finisher ranging down to $90 million for the bottom finisher.

In greater detail:

Upstate Revitalization & REDC competition for 2015:


  • $300 million – URI ($100 million for each of three winning URI regions, first year commitment)
  • $750 million – REDC funds ($530 million in agency program funds and $220 million in competitive grants and tax credits; approximately $600 million of which will be allocated Upstate)


Winners of URI (3 Upstate regions) will receive approximately $130 million each ($100 million URI, $30 million estimated REDC agency program funds).

All other regions will compete for the remaining REDC funds of $660 million with the funds being committed to the region based on performance and projects that support long-term growth as follows:

  • 3 regions will receive approximately $105 million each (competitive grants and credits, and agency program funds)
  • 4 regions will receive approximately $90 million each (competitive grants and credits, and agency program funds)

For point of comparison, in the past two years the top REDC Awards winner received approximately $83 million, meaning a last place finisher this year would receive more than a top place finisher in prior years. In years past, a last place region has received as low as $49 million – about half of what a last place region will receive this year. Between 2011-2014, the average REDC award was approximately $73 million.

This approach will ensure that no region is a loser, while also maintaining the competitive nature that we have seen work so well to bring local business, academic, and community leaders together to develop long term, impressive economic visions for their regions. 

Contact the Governor's Press Office
Contact the Governor's Press Office

NYC Press Office:  212.681.4640

Albany Press Office:  518.474.8418