ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York state's top economic development official is defending the massive amounts of taxpayer money spent on efforts to create jobs, one of the most contentious issues facing the Cuomo administration.
Howard Zemsky, president of Empire State Development, testified Monday during a hearing on Gov. Andrew Cuomo's plans to boost New York's economy.
The Democrat's plans unveiled earlier this month include spending more than $1 billion on economic development projects.
Critics of Cuomo's economic development programs say the efforts have spent billions of dollars in taxpayer money but haven't produced all that many jobs, especially in upstate areas.
During more than two hours of testimony, Zemsky said that since Cuomo introduced Regional Economic Development Councils in 2011, the program has helped create or retain 200,000 jobs.
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