ALBANY, NY –Senator Sue Serino today joined hundreds of county and town highway superintendents from across the state at a press conference in Albany advocating for a needed increase in funding to help improve the quality of local roads, bridges, and culverts.
“Local roads matter,” said Senator Sue Serino. “They play a critical role in all of our communities, yet we know that far too many are deteriorating rapidly. With Albany leadership now concentrated heavily in NYC, we are fighting to ensure that our roads and bridges here in the Hudson Valley and across Upstate New York get the attention they deserve. This funding is critically important to not only ease the burden on local governments and taxpayers, but to ensure the safety of residents across the state.”
Throughout her time in Albany, Senator Serino has remained a vocal advocate for this critically important initiative. Specifically, today’s press conference reinforced the critical need for increased funding for the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS), which provides local municipalities with funding to effectively maintain their local roads, bridges and culverts.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers at the press conference called on legislative leaders to increase the annual CHIPS base funding level by $150 million to a total of $588 million. They specifically noted that local governments face unique fiscal constraints as they work diligently to stay under the tax cap. The lawmakers noted that this year, the constraints have been heightened and the permanent inclusion of CHIPS funding is all the more important due to the uncertainty surrounding Aid and Incentives to Municipalities (AIM) funding that the Governor originally proposed to cut in his Executive Budget Proposal. They also called on leaders to maintain the funding for BRIDGE-NY and PAVE-NY and restore the $65-million in the final budget for the “Extreme Winter Recovery” allocation that was slated to be eliminated in the Executive’s proposal. This allocation has become essential to our local communities who experience extreme deterioration throughout the winter season.
Senator Serino not only joined the press conference today but also joined over seventy other lawmakers in signing a bipartisan letter to this effect to the Governor and the Legislature’s leaders.
“For every $1 invested in the CHIPS Program, it is one less dollar that we are asking our local property taxpayers to pay for something that is so essential,” continued Serino. “I urge my colleagues to join the fight and make this critical funding a top priority in this year’s State Budget.”