Norris Rallies for Local Infrastructure

Assemblyman Mike Norris (R,C-Lockport) met with representatives from the New York State Association of Town Superintendents of Highways and the New York State County Highway Superintendents Association on their “Local Roads are Essential Advocacy Day” held on March 6, 2024 at the state Capitol.

The assemblyman supports an increase in funding for local infrastructure funding through the program known as the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS). The governor proposed a $60 million cut to the program this year while Norris believes the cut should not only be fully restored but an additional $200 million should be added to help local highway crews be in a position to better maintain local roads, bridges, sewers and culverts.

“While our local governments have been asked to do more with less, the crushing burden of inflation has come on top of rising fuel prices, salt, labor and maintenance costs and years of very extreme and difficult weather and natural disasters taking their toll on our infrastructure,” said Norris. “Here in Western New York, we have weathered extreme winters, floods and high heat and our highway crews have done a fantastic job with the resources they have – but it’s not enough to keep up or get ahead, which is ideal when you realize the impact that infrastructure has on public safety and helping to grow our economy. This is the time to make that investment.”

Norris is a proponent of a back-to-basics budget plan that is fiscally responsible, yet because state revenues are projected to come in at $1.3 billion higher than anticipated he said these requests are just drops in the bucket of the proposed multi-billion-dollar budget. He believes the funding should go toward incentives that benefit everyone, like infrastructure, and not special interests.