ALBANY, 04/12/08- Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today voted against an emergency budget extender bill becasue it suspends payments for ongoing state-funded capital construction projects.
"Construction companies across upstate New York have been forced to lay off hundreds of hardworking individuals because the state isnt meeting its obligations," Seward said. "This endangers critical infrastructure improvements and leaves families in a precarious financial position."
After receiving correspondence from multiple construction companies within the 51st senate district, Senator Seward spoke directly with Governor Paterson urging him to release state funding for already approved construction projects.
"While I understand that the governor is trying to bring parties to the budget negotiating table, holding construction jobs hostage and penalizing innocent families is the wrong method. New York is faced with a very short construction season, delaying work jeopardizes the safety of our roads and bridges along with threatening the livelihood of many upstate residents," Seward added.
Since April 2008, the state has lost nearly 322,000 jobs. In February 2010, the states unemployment rate held steady at 8.8 percent. The construction industry has been one of the hardest hit areas, as New York lost 33,400 construction jobs between February 2009 and February 2010, according to the states labor department.
"The state budget delay has a human face, and the construction layoffs are just the start. We need to move forward now with open, bipartisan conference committees and complete work on a state budget that says no to new taxes and yes to spending cuts, property tax relief and economic development," Seward concluded.