President Jeff Smith Legislative Testimony


Local leaders call on Hochul to restore spending for roads and bridges

Ogden, N.Y. — With winter turning into spring soon, many roads and bridges will be in need of repair.

Assemblymen Josh Jensen (R-Greece) and Steve Hawley (R-Batavia) joined local highway superintendents and town supervisors Thursday to call for Gov. Kathy Hochul to restore critical highway infrastructure funding.

They said the governor's proposed state budgets would slash local transportation aid, including a proposed $60 million cut for the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) — the state’s primary source of funding for local roads, bridges and culverts.

"For the upcoming fiscal year, last year was $598 million, an appropriate increase to help cover the rate of inflation would be an additional $100 million in funding," Jensen said. "That would help allow counties, towns and villages to ensure that their future planning can actually be accomplished. With the rate of inflation increasing, not looking like it's going to get better in the future, that extra $100 million, in addition to the restoration of that $60 million just for CHIPS funding, as well as the restoration of $40 million to the local state touring routes, would help to ensure continued financial stability for important highway projects."

The state Senate and Assembly one-house budgets are expected to be released within the next few weeks.

Hochul's office said the governor has invested more in roads and bridges than any governor in state history, and her proposed budget includes funding for local programs.

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