The Empire State Development Corp., one of New York’s largest issuers of bonds, could be merged with the state Department of Economic Development under a proposal announced by Gov. David Paterson yesterday. The new entity would be called the Job Development Corp.

The consolidation proposal is part of a rollout of policy initiatives Paterson has been releasing ahead of the fiscal 2011 executive budget that he is scheduled to propose next week.

The ESDC is the state’s main agency for economic development projects. The corporation is also one of five authorities that sells personal income tax bonds on behalf of the state. Since 2000, the ESDC has sold $8.32 billion of new-money bonds, including $2.55 billion last year, according to Thomson Reuters.

Division of Budget spokesman Matthew Anderson said the merger would create “administrative efficiencies” to save nearly $5 million. 

Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, D-Westchester, said that the proposal was interesting but reserved judgment until he had seen details.

“You may actually be talking about closing a branch of state government and transferring its power over to an authority,” Brodsky said.

Another proposed consolidation would merge the administrative functions of the Department of Housing and Community Renewal with NYHomes, the umbrella organization that includes the New York State Housing Finance Agency and the New York State Mortgage Agency.

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