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Cuomo says SolarCity funds secured in state budget

The state budget should put an end to the cash squeeze that caused the state to fall behind on its payments to vendors working on the SolarCity solar panel factory in South Buffalo late last year and early this year.

The budget includes $685 million in funding for “high technology” projects in Erie and Chautauqua counties, including $200 million for the Athenex pharmaceuticals plant in Dunkirk. The rest of the funding – $485 million – is targeted for the SolarCity plant on South Park Avenue, which is being built with $750 million in promised state funding.

“That is putting the money through, so you don’t have any vendor problems,” Cuomo said. “That is appropriating the funding.”

Nearly 200 construction workers on the SolarCity project were briefly laid off in late February after a “cash flow problem” prevented the state from paying more than $82 million to contractors for work that had been done on the solar panel factory.

Cuomo last month had described the late payments as a foul-up that had been corrected and would not happen again.