“Two of the most important resources in our community are our local roads and our libraries, without either our daily society in Western New York simply would not function. Our roads, highways, bridges and culverts not only ensure safe passage to and from work or school or appointments but also ensure our regional economy can get stronger. However, the programs that fund our local roads had not seen a funding increase from Albany in nearly a decade. This is an important priority for me, and I have worked very hard with my colleagues in Albany to build consensus on the issue. This year, I was appointed to serve on the Joint Budget Conference Committee on Transportation, and I am very proud to announce that these programs are getting the funding increases they need. In fact, our local road maintenance programs known as CHIPS (the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Program) and the Extreme Winter Recovery fund are each getting $100 million in extra funding. This is outstanding news.
“Furthermore, our libraries are the heart and soul of our small Western New York communities, whether you are in the city of Lockport or in a rural community where broadband access might not be available to you at home. Libraries are essential. I fought hard against the governor’s proposed cut and was pleased that not only were his cuts restored but that an additional $20 million has also been awarded for library construction aid in this year’s final agreement. On top of the existing $34 million, this new allotment nearly doubles the funding that our libraries need to make the much-needed capital improvements to continue meeting the ever-growing needs of our communities.”