A “research corridor” linking local biotechnology companies and laboratories with ones in Manhattan, changes to the state’s home foreclosure process and greater use of MacArthur Airport by business travelers are among the priorities of Long Island’s largest business group.
The Long Island Association yesterday released its “top 17 priorities in 2017” at the group’s annual membership meeting. The LIA is seeking action by governments at the federal, state and local levels.
By releasing its priorities now, the LIA hopes to influence budget negotiations in Albany and Washington.
The research corridor, modeled after North Carolina’s Research Triangle, is an expansion of an earlier proposal to tie together biotech projects on Long Island, including the Nassau Hub, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Stony Brook University. That $200 million proposal also was endorsed by the LIA.
The 91-year-old group urged local leaders yesterday to capitalize on “potential synergies and opportunities between New York City and Long Island to develop a downstate cluster of the life sciences industry and create an inter-regional research corridor from Brookhaven National Laboratory to the New York Genome Center in Manhattan.”
LIA president and CEO Kevin Law said the corridor would create companies and “employment mobility options for those seeking the clean, high-paying jobs” offered by biotech. He also said the corridor would vie with other regions for state funds.
Law said the LIA hopes to boost traffic at the struggling MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma by encouraging business travelers to fly from there.
The group backed changes to the state’s foreclosure process that would reduce the number of vacant and foreclosed properties. It also called for the return of the New York Islanders to Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum and supported building an offshore wind farm south of Montauk.
The LIA said it wants more information about Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s free-tuition plan for qualified students at public colleges and universities.
The group also vowed to “speak out against speech that breeds hatred, especially against undocumented immigrants, which is wrong and hurts the perception of our business region.”