‘The Gray Area’ Discusses Threat to Critical Road Improvements as Chips Funding Takes a Hit, Continued Push Against Prison Closures

Assemblyman Scott Gray (R-Watertown) released the latest episode of “The Gray Area” video series. In this week’s episode, Gray expresses concern over funding for the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS). Gray also discusses his tours of local prisons this week at Riverview Correctional Facility and Cape Vincent Correctional Facility and the continued push to advocate against more prison closures in New York state.

“CHIPS funding is at risk of a significant $60 million reduction this year. My legislative colleagues and I are urging for the reinstatement of the $60 million cut and advocating for a boost in the base funding by $200 million,” Gray said. “CHIPS serves as a critical lifeline for road improvements across towns, villages, cities and counties. Even sustaining flat funding poses a loss for municipalities, given the 27% surge in reconstruction costs. To keep pace with inflation, we need to elevate our commitment to $798 million. We will continue to collaborate with highway associations to get the necessary increase in funding.”

“I was pleased to tour the Riverview Correctional Facility and Cape Vincent Correctional Facility this week—these institutions offer great programming and rehabilitative services, and they play a significant role in both the corrections system and the local economy as a whole. We will persistently push and advocate to ensure these prisons do not close.”

“We had great visits this week in the district with Jefferson County highway superintendents, a meeting with Pivot, and I met with Zvi Szafran, the president of SUNY Canton. Not to mention the delightful highlight of the week—the chili cook-off in Jefferson County! As we prepare to return to Albany on Monday, I anticipate robust conversations and a dynamic week ahead with the challenge of addressing congressional lines, so stay tuned.”

“Look out for next week’s episode of The Gray Area as we continue to update you on what you care about. We always appreciate the opportunity to serve you and to work with you. Don’t hesitate to call my office staff with questions, comments or concerns—see you soon,” Gray concluded.