Politicians, labor leaders urge Hochul to match $5B infrastructure commitment from feds
The federal government gave New York $5 billion to fix its infrastructure. Now, Westchester politicians and labor leaders are asking Gov. Kathy Hochul to match that investment.
Assemblyman Jon Jacobson, state Sen. Shelley Mayer and others rallied at Teamsters Local 456 in Elmsford, urging the state to invest in roadways and bridges that are deteriorating.
“I hit so many potholes on the way today that this money can’t be spent quick enough," said Jacobson.
John Cooney, the executive director of the Construction Industry Council of Westchester & Hudson Valley, said that the percentage of New York roads rated in poor or fair condition in 2000 was 30.2%. He says that has increased to 45% in 2020.
Louis Picani, the president of Local Teamsters 456, says laborers are itching to get back to work.
"We are ready, willing and able to participate in the rebuilding," he says.
Dozens of construction and repair projects have been put on the back burner due to the pandemic. It has meant many of the teamsters have gone without a paycheck.
“If you don’t work, you don’t earn,” Picani explained. “This is brothers and sisters' lives, whose families depend on this getting passed so they can go out and provide for their families."
The state budget is still in the process of being negotiated. It’s due on April 1. A spokesperson for the governor said she has proposed the largest capital plan in New York state history and is committed to working with labor leaders and members of Legislature to get the job done.