Senator James Skoufis (D-Hudson Valley) announced he secured record-breaking funding for local governments in the recent state budget, including permanent aid and incentives to municipalities (AIM) funding for the villages of Woodbury and South Blooming Grove. Since these two villages were created after AIM was established in the 1990s, their annual funding was always uncertain due to a flaw in the law that excluded newer municipalities from the program’s funding formula.
During budget negotiations, Senator Skoufis stressed the importance of providing cash-strapped local governments with significant funding. Amid the Governor’s proposed cuts to local government's primary state funding source - the AIM program - Senator Skoufis helped secure full restoration of the proposed cuts, including $5,873,998 for our Senate District’s municipalities that desperately need this funding for basic local services like garbage pickup and water services.
“Throughout the pandemic, New York’s local governments stepped up to provide COVID testing, access to vaccines, and fundamental services for constituents,” said Senator Skoufis. “One of my top priorities during these negotiations was to bring back record funding for the services we all depend on - and depended on more than ever the past year. Since I was first elected in 2013, I’ve worked to ensure that the state budget includes local line items that are desperately needed, and this year, we are delivering for local governments like never before. I will continue to be a committed partner to local governments as we work through reopening our state’s economy and building it back stronger.”
The villages of Woodbury and South Blooming Grove never received AIM funding prior to Skoufis' election to the Assembly in 2013. Since then, every year during budget negotiations, Senator Skoufis has successfully fought to temporarily add them to the AIM formula. Each year, however, the Governor blocked efforts to make this funding permanent. After a decade of advocacy, this year’s budget has finally made Woodbury’s and South Blooming Grove’s state aid permanent - just like every other municipality.
Village of Woodbury Mayor Tim Egan (R) said, "My deepest gratitude to Senator Skoufis for staying relentless in this fight to make Woodbury's AIM funding permanent. I'm so glad that we won't ever again have to wonder whether or not this funding will arrive. This is a huge relief for our local government and taxpayers during a time when we need it most."
This year's state budget also increases the Consolidated Local Highway And Street Improvement Program (CHIPS) by $100 million over last year for a total of $538 million. Municipalities rely on CHIPS to repave local roads and repair local bridges, so this record investment will help our Senate District rebuild stronger and faster coming out of the pandemic.
Senator Skoufis plans to make additional budget announcements in the coming weeks.