M&T Bank’s Robert Wilmers passes away at 83

Robert Wilmers, the longtime chairman and chief executive of Buffalo-based M&T Bank Corp. and one of the region’s most influential business and civic leaders, has died. The New York City-born Wilmers, who built a financial industry giant on the premise of conservative community-style banking, passed away unexpectedly Dec. 16 at home in New York City. He was 83. M&T spokesperson C. Michael Zabel did not have immediate information about a cause of death. Robert Brady, lead outside director, will…

Report: New York state debt could top $70 billion by 2021

New York state’s total debt is the second-highest in the nation and projected to rise 17 percent over the next four years, according to a new report released Thursday from the Office of the Comptroller. New York’s debt totaled $61.4 billion in 2016. Only California exceeded that with $87 billion in total debt last year. By 2021, total state-funded debt in New York could reach $71.8 billion, with the largest increase in transportation. Education is projected to account for more than 40 percent…