It was a victory lap for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who was able to usher through a $50 billion measure aimed at ramping up semiconductor and high-tech chip making in the U.S. and here in New York.
"If New York is to maintain and America is maintain its economic pre-eminence, we should be making semiconductors in Syracuse, not Shanghai," he said.
Dovetailing with the federal law, Gov. Kathy Hochul on Thursday with Schumer at her side approved a $10 billion plan for encouraging clean and renewable forms of energy in chip making.
Hochul signed the measure at Albany Nanotech, which federal and state officials hope will become a national hub for the U.S. as the country seeks to boost chip making in the coming years to compete with countries like China.
"All of you saw that the possibilities are there," Hochul said to an audience of business and academic leaders as well as elected officials. "You just have to be able to seize them and position us to say come to New York. It will be advantageous for you, you'll have the best workforce and you'll be part of an ecosystem that's already thriving."
The law, sponsored by state Sen. Jeremy Cooney and Assemblyman Al Stirpe, is meant to spend $3 billion over the next decade to spur renewable energy usage in the semiconductor sector and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is expected to create at least 500 jobs and will include prevailing wage rates for construction projects.
"It's not a handout," Hochul said. "But what this is going to do is offset the cost of developing a semiconductor plant and we're going to do it in a very green way."
The measure dovetails with a federal law approved this week by President Joe Biden that will spend $50 billion to encourage semiconductor manufacturing. Hochul signed the measure alongside Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who also touted the federal law as a way of helping revive and strengthen the upstate economy.
The hope is New York, along with the rest of the country, will boost chip making in order to reduce the potential of supply chain backlogs in the future.
But John Kaehny, the executive director of Reinvent Albany, knocked the provision Hochul approved, saying it was crafted without public input.
"That's an incredible, phenomenal amount of money," he said. "We just think it was a very bad deal, it was rushed through the Legislature at the last possible second."
New York taxpayers should not be on the hook to support companies that are already planning on doing business in the state, he added.
"They're going to be giving this enormous tax break to computer chip manufacturers that already make a very, very good profit," Kaehny said, "and it's not going to be that meaningful in terms of the number of jobs that come here."