Assemblyman Robert C. Oaks (R,C – Macedon) is joining fellow members of the Assembly Minority Conference in calling for an investigation into the transfer of snowmobile funds from the 2008-09 New York State Budget. The Snowmobile Trail Development and Maintenance Fund is only receiving $7 million of its $8 million budget due to approximately $1 million being "swept" from the fund and placed into the general budget. The $8 million comes from fees that snowmobilers pay when registering their vehicle with the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Snowmobile registration fees were raised with the Snowmobile Rights and Responsibilities Act of 2005 because of a promise that was made to place these fees directly into the Maintenance Fund. "I am a strong advocate of snowmobilers all across New York state and am appalled that the money promised to them is being deposited into the general budget," stated Oaks. In 2002, Assemblyman Oaks introduced bill A.11468 that allowed for the designation of a snowmobile trail along Route 104.
"Last minute budget bills show how flawed the budget process can be," said Oaks. "The fact that the final budget bills were given to legislators at the last possible moment so lawmakers could not possibly read their contents to the fullest extent is ridiculous," continued Oaks. "This is exactly why we need additional reform of the New York State budget process," Oaks concluded.
Assemblyman Oaks is petitioning the governor, along with other members of the Legislature, to restore the money back to the Snowmobile Fund from the general budget.