Ashby: Let’s Invest In Community, Not Politics

Legislative Column from Assemblyman Jake Ashby (R,C,I,Ref-Castleton)

I recently attended a public hearing in Albany where a commission comprised of nine political appointees discussed using our taxpayer dollars to publically fund political campaigns. Gov. Cuomo has proposed $100 million annually, a number which will undoubtedly climb much higher if implemented to fund this program.

We all agree that changes to our political system, especially the role large monetary donations can play, are necessary, but allocating $100 million for political ads while at the same time failing to properly fund repairs to our aging infrastructure is simply unacceptable.

During budget negotiations you often hear the phrase “budgets are about priorities.” If that’s the case, what does it say about our state’s priorities if we can allocate $100 million to fund robocalls, excessive political mailings and the negative commercials we all hate to sit through while our infrastructure crumbles and our communities remain locked in a seemingly never-ending cycle of financial hardship?

I am proud to sponsor legislation that would increase the state funding for our local roads by $100 million each a year. This crucial increase to the CHIPS program will help give our municipalities the ability to pave weathered streets and restore our aging bridges. In addition to increasing CHIPS funding, the state must also increase the Extreme Winter Recovery funding which gives our local road crews the necessary support to deal with upstate’s tough winters.

I highly encourage you to weigh in on this important discussion. Since there is no public contact information for the commission, call the governor’s office at 518-474-8390 to demand our tax dollars be used to repair our roads and bridges, and not on political vanity. And if they won’t listen, I will.

I always welcome input from my constituents on this or any other legislative topic. I may be reached at ashbyj@nyassembly.gov or at (518) 272-6149.