October 18, 2015
CORNING, NY – State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,-Big Flats), Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R, Corning) and Assemblyman Chris Friend (R,-Big Flats) today joined local highway superintendents and other local leaders from across the region to deliver a “fair share for local roads and bridges” message to Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The group held a news conference earlier today at the South Corning Highway Garage to draw attention to a recent agreement between Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio that will deliver a new $8.3-billion, state-funded investment to downstate mass transit through the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).
In a joint statement, O’Mara, Palmesano and Friend said, “If Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders are going to find billions of dollars for downstate mass transit in next year’s state budget, we want to make sure that local roads, bridges and culverts across the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions, and throughout the state, receive a fair share of state assistance through CHIPS and other investments. The improvement and repair of highways and bridges across this region and statewide are going unmet even though motorists keep delivering billions of dollars in taxes and fees to the state every year that are supposed to be dedicated to maintaining local roads and bridges.”
Congressman Tom Reed said, “I am using my voice to fight to ensure that the Southern Tier has access to its fair share of state and federal transportation funding because I care about the people of our area.
Investing in our roads and bridges is critical to the local economy creating immediate construction jobs and ultimately making Western New York a better place to live and work.”
The lawmakers noted that for the past three years, O’Mara and Palmesano have led a bipartisan group of state legislators in the Senate and Assembly, together with county and town highway superintendents and other local leaders from across New York, to call for increased state support for local roads, bridges and culverts through the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS). This year’s effort drew the support of 114 state legislators, or more than half of the State Legislature’s entire membership.