Walsh, Legislative Colleagues and Local Highway Superintendents Condemn $60 Million Cut in State Aid for Local Roads and Bridges

Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh (R,C-Ballston) held a press conference in Halfmoon today to reject Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposed cuts in critical state funding for local roads and bridges in the 2024-25 state budget. The $60 million cut to the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) will directly impact the safety and functionality of local roads and bridges. Walsh was joined by Assemblyman Matt Simpson (R,C-Horicon), Sen. James Tedisco (R,C-44th Senate District), Justin Burwell, Town of Greenfield highway superintendent and president of the Saratoga County Town Highway Superintendents Association and Bill Bryans, Town of Halfmoon highway superintendent, to call on Hochul and the Majority Conference to continue New York’s commitment to local transportation.

“The Governor’s proposed $60 million reduction in CHIPS funding is simply unacceptable as it provides the primary source of funding for our local roads and bridges. New York is infamous for its often challenging and deteriorating infrastructure that poses a substantial burden on both commuters and the overall quality of transportation. We all want to get to work, school, appointments and home to our loved ones safely, and we want our loved ones to get from point A to point B safely too,” Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh (R,C-Ballston) stated. “Poor road and bridge conditions in the state are costing drivers an extra $36.7 billion annually in increased vehicle operating costs, traffic accidents and congestion-related delays. Our highway superintendents and their crews do a fantastic job, but we’re asking all of them to do more with less, and that’s not fair or equitable. Saratoga County is one of the few counties in the state with a growing population, and that puts even more stress and strain on our infrastructure.”

Assemblyman Matt Simpson (R,C-Horicon) said, “The governor’s proposal to reduce CHIPS funding by $60 million is shortsighted and fails to address the urgent needs of our local transportation systems. With a statewide funding gap of more than $2 billion for highways outside New York City and inflation driving construction costs up by 58.6%, cutting essential funds is simply inadequate. Neglecting our infrastructure now will only exacerbate the $89 billion in unmet local needs over the next two decades, jeopardizing economic growth and public safety. This is a further insult to New York residents given the governor’s $2.4 billion expected allotment for the city’s migrant crisis. We must restore the $60 million cut to CHIPS and increase funding by $200 million to invest in our future and build thriving communities.”

“Local roads matter! That’s the message Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh and I are making today with our dedicated highway superintendents who maintain our local roads and bridges. These highway professionals are some of the unsung heroes in our local governments who are out there plowing on cold and snowy winter nights and paving in hot summer days to keep our roads safe,” said Sen. James Tedisco (R,C-44th Senate District). “The integrity and safety of our above-ground and underground infrastructure matters for our economy and small businesses, our schools, our healthcare and our homes. As we support our CHIPS program for above-ground infrastructure, we also need to invest in our underground safe water infrastructure as I have called for in the bi-partisan Safe Water Infrastructure Action Program (SWAP) to provide annual funding to all municipalities to swap out old, damaged pipes and water mains to fight that lurking monster in our underground infrastructure and stop costly breaks before they happen. To keep New York’s economy moving, local roads and infrastructure truly matter!”

“Our message to the governor is clear: restore and increase local road funding so that local municipalities can repair and maintain the roads our schools, emergency services, the trucking industry and our residents depend on day in and day out. Stop playing games with our local road funding,” said Justin Burwell, Town of Greenfield highway superintendent and president of the Saratoga County Town Highway Superintendents Association.

“Not all towns, cities or villages are the same. Some show no growth for long periods and some are showing never before seen growth. Unfortunately, that’s what our CHIPS, Extreme Winter Recovery, Pave NY and Pave Our Pothole funding is based on, meaning communities that show no growth will get little or no additional funding. When there is no growth in a community, the roads don’t stop deteriorating, and they still need to be repaved. In 16 years we have only increased funding by $250,680.57 in Halfmoon. That’s not enough to pave two miles of roads today. This year, Gov. Hochul’s budget calls for a cut of $100 million dollars to CHIPS and other funding for local roads. This should be $100 million more not less,” said Bill Bryans, Town of Halfmoon highway superintendent.