Assemblyman Ed Ra (R- Franklin Square) joined colleagues from the state Senate and Assembly today to further the call from county and local highway superintendents across New York for increased state support for local roads, bridges and culverts.
The group of fierce advocates held a press conference inside the state Capitol earlier today to bring awareness to the concerns and conditions the hardworking men and women who build, maintain and repair our critical infrastructure are facing and propose an increase in state funding for the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) which provides funding to our counties, towns, and villages for construction and maintenance of local roads and bridges.
“The state of far too many of our local roads, bridges, and culverts is beyond acceptable.” said Ra. “Every year I proudly stand up with colleagues and advocates from across New York state to call on the governor and the state Legislature to provide the CHIPs program the funding it needs and deserves. Without proper funding for our highway superintendents and departments, the infrastructure issues facing New Yorkers everywhere will continue to worsen.”
Currently, Gov. Hochul’s proposed Executive Budget holds baseline funding for CHIPS, Extreme Winter Recovery, and PAVE-NY at current year levels. While advocates welcome the governor's commitment to infrastructure investment in this year’s state budget, they argue it is essential to bolster the longstanding and successful CHIPs program before embarking on these new ventures.
Local Roads Are Essential advocates are calling on Gov. Hochul to:
- Increase the base funding level for the CHIPS program by $250 million to a total of $788 million;
- Increase Extreme Winter Recovery funding by $50 million to $150 million;
- Distribute the $100 million proposed for the new “Pave Our Potholes" program, utilizing the existing CHIPS/EWR aid formula to ensure equity and fairness; and
- Increase the five-year DOT Capital Plan to $44.1 billion, an $11.3-billion increase.
“Local roads don’t just matter, they are essential to virtually every part of our state’s economy, and to the everyday lives of our citizens,” said Ra. “I strongly support the funding proposals presented by Local Roads Are Essential advocates and will proudly stand alongside any member of the state Senate or Assembly committed to preserving and improving our local infrastructure.”