Year in Review: The Economy in 2009

By WKTV News

(WKTV) - No doubt the economy took center stage this year. National lawmakers made decisions that trickled down to the local level and state lawmakers battled over how to gain control of the out of control deficit. Here's a look back at just some of the big economy stories of 2009.

The year started off on a high but not a good kind. Unemployment numbers hit a 26 year record. Local businesses started feeling the effects. Empire Aero Center, Sherrill Manufacturing and several others had to lay off employees to save their bottom lines.

In February, Congress passed a multi-billion dollar stimulus package. It promised to send money to all states and give a jolt to jobs. We saw some projects spring up, such as local bridge replacements and highway resurfacing. Critics argue the stimulus plan isn't creating jobs like its supporters said it would.

State lawmakers passed a $131 billion budget in April, two days late. Governor David Paterson then charged them with finding ways to bring down the ballooning deficit. After several special sessions, legislators passed a $2.8 billion deficit reduction plan in December. Paterson says it's not enough.

Senator Chuck Schumer came to Yorkville in April to tout his "Cash for Clunkers" program. Months later, drivers started to cash in their clunkers for more fuel efficient vehicles. Local car dealerships claimed the rebate program was a huge success.

In May, WKTV NEWSChannel 2 started an economy half hour during the Live at Five Newshour. It's dedicated to all national, state and local economy stories. It also brings in local experts to help you and your family through these difficult times.

A bit of good news came in mid-July when Governor Paterson announced a nanotechnology partnership involving SUNYIT. It would translate into about 475 jobs. State leaders are continuing to go over the details of the plan to bring the project to fruition.

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