New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie was in Tompkins County Wednesday. The stop was part of speaker’s ongoing tours of upstate.
Heastie, a Bronx Democrat, admitted that prior to becoming the leader of the Assembly he had never been to Upstate outside of Albany. Heastie says he has visited several areas of the state this summer to better understand the challenges and opportunities facing the entire state.
The speaker says he is hearing job creation, support for education and funding for generating infrastructure are the main issues facing the state.
The newsroom asked the speaker about the crippling unfunded state mandates that continue to force cuts in spending for local programs and services. Local governments will also have to deal with a declining property-tax cap, which for 2016 will limit tax growth to less than 1 percent.
Among Speaker Heastie’s stops included a visit to a Weaver Wind Energy, a small wind turbine manufacturer in Freeville.
Heastie said the state needs to do more to encourage investment in renewable energy.