From the Morning Memo:

The investigations into SUNY Polytechnic and economic development programs like the Buffalo Billion shouldn’t stop state investment into growing private-sector jobs, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan on Tuesday said.

“I think we need to make economic development investments, public-private infrastructure,” Flanagan said. “We should be forging ahead.”

In a brief interview, Flanagan pointed out the oversight at the state level was already in place, ranging from legislative committees, the comptroller and attorney general’s offices as well as the governor’s office itself.

“The executive has an inherent responsibility to be overseeing these projects from start to finish,” Flanagan said. “I don’t think we should be scaling back anything. Can we take a closer look, put it under a microscope, fine. But people need jobs. This is a great way to create economic development.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office has launched its own inquiry into Buffalo Billion contracting, hiring former federal investigator Bart Schwartz, who has the power to review contracts under the western New York economic development program before they are formally approved.

The program has fallen under scrutiny by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s office, along with former top aide to Cuomo, Joe Percoco and lobbyist Todd Howe, who represent companies that had contracts from within the Buffalo Billion program.