Legislature reaches key budget agreement on funding for local roads and bridges

Thomas F. O'Mara

March 26, 2012

Albany, N.Y., March 26—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) said today that the Legislature’s joint budget conference committee on transportation has reached a key agreement that will maintain New York’s commitment to funding for local roads and bridges in the 2012-2013 state budget.

The CHIPS program provides the bulk of state aid to localities for the maintenance and improvement of local roads and bridges.

O’Mara was one of five state senators on the  Transportation Budget Conference Committee which agreed today to accept Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to maintain state funding for the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) at last year’s increased funding level of approximately $363.1 million.

“It’s a key agreement that’s vital to the improvement and maintenance of local roads and bridges throughout the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions.  We recognize that this area of the state budget  has a particular impact on the strength of New York’s short- and long-term strategies for job creation and economic development, especially across upstate, rural New York,” said O’Mara.  “It’s vital to motorist safety and to the overall quality and strength of regional tourism.”

According to figures from the state Department of Transportation (DOT), the agreed-upon   budget will result in the following CHIPS funding for the counties in O’Mara’s 53rd Senate District: Chemung ($1,391,371); Schuyler ($727,530); Steuben ($3,688,392); Tompkins ($1,685,229); and Yates ($971,280).

The Legislature convened its joint, bipartisan budget conference committee process two weeks ago to begin public negotiations aimed at reaching legislative agreements on key segments of the 2012-2013 state budget before the start of New York’s new fiscal year on April 1.