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Andrew Rudnick: UB2020 in Jeopardy!

Yesterday, hot on the heels of UB President John “Nostradamus” Simpson’s lectern-slapping appeal to every citizen of WNY—that they contact their state legislators to demand passage of the PHEEIA Bill before the UB 2020 plan dies (and along with it all of Buffalo and Western New York)—Andrew Rudnick sent out the following Web alert to countless recipients in the local business community:

CALL-TO-ACTION – UB2020 in jeopardy!

Your immediate action is needed… Last week, the New York State Assembly released its budget plan, failing to include either the Public Higher Education Empowerment & Investment Act (PHEEIA) or similar language allowing UB2020 to progress (as the Senate’s budget resolution did). With UB2020’s promise of tens of thousands of jobs, badly-needed public and private investment in downtown Buffalo and an economic impact to our region of over $2.6 billion, we can not afford for Albany to pass up this opportunity.

Why has it stalled? New York City interests continue to oppose the proposed legislation for reasons that don’t apply anywhere else. Thus far, our state delegation has been supportive. But now that’s not good enough – we need our state reps to tell their leadership that they’re not coming home from budget negotiations without PHEEIA being passed. They need to tell Senate and Assembly leadership that their inaction on PHEEIA is costing their constituents jobs – and that won’t be tolerated.

Passage of the 2010-11 state budget will happen within a few weeks. It is imperative that the private sector send a firm message to the WNY state delegation that we need PHEEIA, we need UB2020, and we need the jobs and economic development opportunities that come with them – and we need them now.

I urge you to click below to send that message today.

There you have it. Again the Buffalo-Niagara Partnership illustrates how New York City is holding Buffalo back from the greatness that is just beyond our grasp.

Also, isn’t it nice to see our local private sector sending such a strong message to our public leaders, telling them that they’d better privatize the public university system, or else?

If I were an elected official, I’d send a letter right back to Andrew Rudnick & Co., reminding them that the University of Buffalo hasn’t been a private institution since 1962 and telling them there won’t be another public penny for any more medical corridor construction until UB, Kaleida, ECMC, Ciminelli, and Great Lakes Health open up all their books to the public to show taxpayers why it’s so important to build more and more structures right now when the state is in horrific debt thanks to Wall Street’s collapse? Are taxpayers going to see any profit from the medical patents produced by publicly-funded research at these places?  If not, as a public servant, I must insist that private businesses build their playhouses with their own money. Isn’t it bad enough that I’ll be answering phone calls from irate residents when Millard Fillmore Gates Circle Hospital closes next year, leaving a hulking structure in a nice part of town?

By the way, some Albany insiders report that it’s simply a technical matter holding back the PHEEIA legislation. Apparently, convoluted rules in the senate and assembly state that even if UB 2020 is the correct answer, it can’t be considered until it is phrased in the form of a question.

  • Peter A Reese

    We are going to be short 40,000 primary care doctors in a few years. Why doesn’t UB concentrate on graduating some American primary care MDs rather than wasting our tax dollars on a unsustainable medical monstrosity on Main Street? If Rudnick is in favor of UB2020, you know it is bad for the people of Western New York.

  • Our own little version of FAIL

    I read BuffaloRising to find out what over-hyped development projects will not be completed or even started. And I read Andy’s regional agenda to find out regional priorities won’t be funded again this year.

    Good old Andy is sounding a bit desperate to get his hands on those billions. Almost like a gambler who bet the rent and now is afraid someone is going to break his kneecaps if he can’t deliver.

  • Peter A Reese

    How about a Community Benefit Agreemnt for UB2020? Any requirement that this money actually benefit the citizens of Western New York is a lethal threat to the whole scam.