Today, Assemblyman Joe DeStefano (R,C,I,Ref-Medford), joined by fellow members of the Assembly Minority Conference, attended a press conference held by the Assembly Minority Task Force on Critical Infrastructure and Transportation. The press conference was led by Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb (R,C-Canandaigua) and Task Force Co-Chairmen Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C,I-Corning) and Assemblyman Kevin Byrne (R,C,Ref-Mahopac) as a follow up to the eight regional forums that discussed a variety of topics impacting the states transportation and infrastructure and announced the results released within NEW YORKS INFRASTRUCTURE: A Report on Fortifying Our Roads, Bridges and Water Systems. The conference has plans to introduce a comprehensive package of bills to improve funding for the states roads, bridges and water and sewer systems.
- Ensure funding parity between the upcoming NYSDOT and MTA Five-Year Capital Programs;
- Increase CHIPS base aid by $100 million/year for five years and tie to CPI to account for inflation and increasing material costs;
- Enact legislation mandating that all funding for the Dedicated Highway and Bridge Trust Fund (DHBTF) is to be used only for capital infrastructure, not for state operations or debt service payments;
- Expand support for the Clean Water Investment Act (CWIA) to ensure long-term commitment to water, sewer infrastructure;
- Establish a companion for the existing CHIPS program, offering financial assistance to local governments for drinking, storm and sewer water infrastructure, called the Water Infrastructure Investment Program (WIIPS);
- Continue, strengthen and improve PAVE-NY, EWR and BRIDGE NY in NYSDOT 2020-2024 Capital Program to help municipalities plan for improvements;
- Establish a CHIPS-like formula for culverts based on the length of culverts within the municipality;
- Require NYSDOT release a report each year detailing the condition of state-owned roads and bridges;
- Direct NYSDOT to develop a 20-30-year long-term transportation plan; and
- Require NYSDOT to submit its capital plan for approval.
As a member of the Committee on Transportation, I am proud that the Assembly Minority Conference is the driving force for fixing our state infrastructure. We currently rank seventh for the worst infrastructure in the country. Our roads, bridges, waterways and sewers are the foundations of our state and it is imperative that we devote funds to them before it is too late, said DeStefano.