ALBANY – Assemblyman Joseph Angelino (R,C,I-Norwich) signed onto a letter to the governor and the legislative leaders of each house calling for increased funding to programs which help local municipalities pay for repaving, maintaining and repairing local roadways. The letter signed by 70 assembly members and senators who called for increases to the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPs), PAVE-NY, BRIDGE-NY and Emergency Winter Recovery funds.
“Our local roads are essential and the state must prioritize them in the budget. Our local highway departments are responsible for 87 percent of the state’s roadways and bridges but get a fraction of what is needed to pave, maintain, and keep them safe,” said Angelino. “New York must invest in our roads and bridges – they are essential to public safety and our economies.”
The legislators pointed out how payments to municipalities were delayed last year by nearly 69 days, despite approval in the 2020-21 Enacted State Budget. Most local governments had payments from the CHIPS, PAVE-NY, BRIDGE-NY and the Emergency Winter Recovery funds reduced by 20 percent or more than $120 million, which is troubling considering that local governments maintain 87 percent of roads and half of the state’s 18,000 bridges in the state.
The governor has said his budget proposal takes a particular interest in investing in infrastructure and transportation, the legislators point out that the governor’s emphasis is largely on downstate projects such as the $1.3 billion rebuilding of Penn Station in New York City while upstate is fighting for every dollar it can get. The governor proposes no increase to CHIPS funding for the ninth straight year, in addition to PAVE-NY and BRIDGE-NY receiving no increase. The governor proposes a 33 percent cut to Emergency Winter Recovery funds despite regions like the Southern Tier receiving record accumulations of snow.
Should the state receive more than $6 billion in federal aid, the legislators are pushing for full restoration of the $120 million withheld from the 2020-21 state budget, an increase to CHIPS to $588 million, an increase to Extreme Winter Recovery funds to $100 million, to double PAVE-NY to $200 million and BRIDGE-NY to $200 million. If the state only receives $6 million in federal aid, they are minimally asking for full restorations to promised funds and to fully fund the programs in the 2021-22 Enacted State Budget.
- From the office of Assemblyman Joseph Angelino