SENATOR SUE SERINO CALLS ON GOVERNOR CUOMO TO PROVIDE SUFFICIENT FUNDS FOR LOCAL ROADS AND BRIDGES

Sue Serino

December 21, 2015

SENATOR SUE SERINO CALLS ON GOVERNOR CUOMO TO PROVIDE SUFFICIENT FUNDS FOR LOCAL ROADS AND BRIDGES

PLEASANT VALLEY, NY—Governor Cuomo recently announced an agreement that the MTA five-year capital program would receive roughly $6 billion in state funding, while remaining silent on the growing infrastructure needs of our Upstate roads and bridges. 

Surrounded by supporters for “parity” in funding for the New York State Dedicated Highway and Bridge Trust Fund, Senator Serino today called on Governor Cuomo to make our crumbling infrastructure a priority and include in his Executive Budget, an equitable level of funding for the deteriorating roads and bridges.

“Frankly, the people of Dutchess and Putnam Counties are tired of taking a back seat to the needs of the MTA,” said Senator Serino. “It doesn’t take much to see the years of neglect when we drive on our state roads and bridges. Whether we use Metro North or not, we are paying for it in our gas taxes and motor vehicle fees and it’s high time, we were treated fairly in addressing the needs of our ailing infrastructure.”

In the 1990’s, a Dedicated Highway and Bridge Trust Fund was created for our state transportation capital needs.  It was agreed, at that time, that a portion of the state’s gas tax and auto fees go to the Dedicated Mass Transit Trust Fund, as long as the two funds were negotiated simultaneously and there would be “parity” in funding levels.

In 2009-10, when the State was under the control of one-party governance, New York City interests dominated state government policy and funding decisions.  It was at that time that the State enacted an MTA five-year capital plan without funding a plan for the State’s roads and bridges.  Since that time, it is estimated that funding for our transit system has outpaced an investment in the State’s transportation infrastructure by $6 billion.

“To leave the rest of the state behind while funding mass transit is not only unfair, but foolish,” Serino continued. “With each passing year, more bridges are ranked in unsafe or deteriorating condition and it is reported that more than 60% of our roads are in need of repair or reconstruction.” 

“An investment in our roads and bridges is an investment in our economy, in our safety, and in our future,” said Senator Serino. “It’s unreasonable to ask taxpayers to continue to pay for the Metropolitan Transit Authority, while conditions of the roads and bridges they must travel on every day remain dangerously neglected. It is time for Governor Cuomo to make Upstate infrastructure a real priority.”

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