Tague Hosts Press Conference Calling for an Increase in Funding for Local Roads and Bridges

Assemblyman Chris Tague (R,C-Schoharie) hosted a press conference today to call for an increase in Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) funding for local roads and bridges. Tague was joined by Sen. Peter Oberacker and local highway superintendents from Albany, Greene, Schoharie, Delaware, and Otsego counties.

“Our rural upstate communities rely on funding from CHIPS,” said Tague. “We don’t live in major cities where we have access to everything within five minutes of our house- these roads are essential to our everyday lives. With inflation continuing to increase, it is getting harder and harder to afford repairs on our own.”

Members of the New York state Assembly, Senate and various local offices have advocated for more aggressive funding in the budget for CHIPS for the past 12 years. In the 2024 Executive Budget proposal, Gov. Hochul included a $100 million cut to local transportation infrastructure funding. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is increasing federal highway aid to New York by $4.6 billion, totaling $13.4 billion. The issue with this is local roads, which make up 87% of the statewide road systems, are not able to receive these federal funds.

“Have we really gone so far off course as a state that we can’t even recognize the importance of basic infrastructure?” questioned Tague. “Each year, the governor tries to reduce CHIPS funding, and each year, our Conference has to remind her of its importance. This is a necessary investment to keep New York state up and running.”

Oberacker said, “Local roads and bridges, and the dedicated workers who maintain them, are vital to public safety and our economy. State support is critical to our local governments when making decisions on road and bridge maintenance and CHIPS funding is essential. While funds are being sent downstate to prop up the MTA we cannot neglect our upstate infrastructure. An increase in CHIPS funding is a necessary investment that must be included in the state budget.”

President of Greene County Association of Highway Superintendents Gary Thorington said, “Our local economies depend heavily, if not solely, on state funds to build and maintain the local roads system. Cutting funding would be crippling, if not devastating, to every city, county, town and village throughout New York state.”

Town of Coeymans Highway Superintendent Dan Baker said, “New York and the Town of Coeyman’s residents cannot shoulder any more program cuts to our already deteriorating infrastructure systems.”