Assemblywoman Russell Not Pleased With Governor Paterson’s Decision to Back Away From His Decision to Support Upstate Infrastructure

October 9, 2009
“I am extremely disappointed in the decision by the governor not to address the transportation infrastructure needs of upstate and the North Country. Making critical repairs to our transportation system and expanding our infrastructure is critical to our economic recovery and growth. The legislature was promised that we would be provided with a plan for funding upstate and North Country transportation infrastructure projects by this month, and the state budget was passed based in part on this promise.

“While we are in difficult economic times, not investing in our transportation system is wrong. We have known for some time now that the state’s fiscal situation was grim, but the agreed upon framework for addressing our infrastructure needs was targeted to communities who were most in need and whose local economy would benefit the most from the upgrades. It is disingenuous to have made such an important agreement with such little effort from the governor to keep his side of the bargain. I expected that funding the plan would be difficult. However, not to support a plan with some funding for our needs over the next several years is a snub to our entire region and will cost us more in the long run.

“We cannot afford to let this inaction continue. I will continue to push vigorously for an agreement that addresses our most urgent transportation needs and demonstrates a vision for future investment to aid in our economic sustainability.”