- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 21, 2015

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Businesses in New York’s Southern Tier could compete for $20 million in state funds under a clean energy contest suggested by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Cuomo included the proposed competition in a $142 billion state budget proposal unveiled Wednesday.

Cuomo says the competition would encourage investments in renewable energy and make use of the area’s natural resources while attracting jobs to the area along the Pennsylvania border.

Cuomo has also proposed a larger competition for $1.5 billion in economic development prize money that would be open to seven upstate regions.

The Southern Tier is one of New York’s most economically struggling areas. Some local leaders were upset with Cuomo’s decision last month not to allow hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.

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