Assemblywoman Annie Rabbitt (R,C,I-Greenwood Lake) is announcing that Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) figures for communities in her district now are available for the 2010-11 fiscal year. The funding was part of an emergency appropriation bill the Legislature passed on June 7, 2010 and leaves average dollars for Orange and Rockland counties at slight increases over last year’s amounts.
“While I am very pleased that money for my district has not been slashed, I remain discouraged at the lack of an open and accountable process by which this funding was awarded. Despite that, the communities in my district now will be able to move forward with their plans for the current fiscal year and know what the state is able to commit. I am hopeful that because no municipality in either Orange or Rockland County is seeing a cut, that jobs and projects will move forward and help our communities recover from the recession,” said the assemblywoman, who supported CHIPS funding but was among the members who voted against the legislation due to its healthcare cuts.
Specifically, the legislation, which aimed to complete the 2010-11 State Budget on health care through a backdoor and non-negotiable process, included $363 million in CHIPS funding. While this amount is not an increase over 2009-10 levels, municipalities throughout the 97th Assembly District will see slight increases in their funding, from .01 percent to as much as 15.95 percent.
Assemblywoman Rabbitt, who is the Minority ranker on the Assembly Local Government Committee and a member appointed to the joint budget conference committee on Local Aid (which has yet to meet), stated, “Without the input from our local governments and without having held a joint budget conference committee hearing on this vital topic, I am uneasy about these funding amounts being final. I would have liked to see a more open process, as outlined in the statutory budget reforms we passed a few years ago. Apparently, these reforms and laws mean nothing to the leaders in charge. However, I hope the funding helps my partners in local government move forward with their fiscal plans.”
The assemblywoman’s office will be contacting each municipality to make sure they are informed of their CHIPS funding award. For more information, or a complete listing of CHIPS funding for Orange and Rockland counties, please call Assemblywoman Rabbitt’s legislative office in Albany at 518-455-5991.