March 9, 2016
ALBANY, NY – State Senator Tom O’Mara (R, Big Flats) and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R, Corning) held a very large rally in Albany today, where 130 state lawmakers and hundreds of county and town highway superintendents, and other local leaders from across New York, called for increased state support for local roads, bridges and culverts.
At a news conference in the Capitol, O’Mara, Palmesano and other state legislators, county and town highway superintendents and other local leaders called for increasing state funding for the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program, commonly known as CHIPS, by $250 million to a total of $688.1 million in the 2016-2017 state budget. They’re also seeking the creation of a new, four-year, $600-million “State Aid to Local Bridge and Culvert Program” to undertake locally designated bridge and culvert improvement projects statewide.
“I’m proud to support the ‘local roads matter’ campaign. Ensuring that our roads and bridges are safe for the people of New York to travel is paramount, and providing proper funding for these projects is necessary,” said Giglio. “We need to ensure that our upstate infrastructure is getting equal attention and that we are giving western New York the parity in funding that it deserves. I cannot express enough gratitude to all of the men and women who work tirelessly to keep our roads and bridges safe for our businesses and families.”
In a joint statement, O’Mara and Palmesano said, “Across-the-board parity in transportation funding is a top budget priority this year. Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders will be deciding how best to allocate billions of taxpayer dollars for upstate and downstate transportation infrastructure and we want to make sure that local roads, bridges and culverts throughout the state receive an equal and fair share of state assistance through CHIPS and other investments. The improvement and repair of locally maintained roads and bridges in every community across the state are going unmet year after year even though local 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. Local roads and bridges, in every region of the state, are community and economic lifelines that are at risk from a severe lack of adequate, dedicated funding. A revitalized state commitment to local transportation is a wise use of taxpayer dollars. It’s an investment in economic growth, job creation, property tax relief and motorist safety.”