“While I agree with the call for fiscal discipline and strongly oppose any new taxes as we enter the 2009-2010 budget season, I am disappointed that the DOT’s 5-Year Capital Plan was so quickly dismissed in its entirety without consideration of alternatives.
In order to successfully emerge from the recession, in addition to cutting state operating costs, we must make strategic investments that will spur growth. As the Governor has said himself, investment in infrastructure is critical to economic development and our long-term economic recovery.
Rather than dismiss this plan out of hand, we must develop a feasible and responsible DOT capital plan that will best direct limited resources to spur economic growth in Upstate New York. That may mean an 18-month funding plan, as the federal government is considering. Or it may mean a less costly and more targeted 5-year plan that focuses on our most critical infrastructure needs. But there is no doubt that we need to make good on past promises and make investments in Upstate New York roads and bridges.”