On the heels of passage of New York State’s $132.6-billion budget that includes $1.2 billion in funding for bridge and road improvements, a state assembly member has proposed a bond bill aimed at helping to finance the state’s future infrastructure needs.
Jim Brennan (D-Brooklyn) introduced legislation on April 5 to ask voters on November 2013 to authorize the state to borrow and pay the debt service on $4.5 billion of improvements for mass transit, roads, bridges, airports and other transportation-related work. Under the bill, funds would be divided into $2.025 billion for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority; $225 million for non-MTA mass transit; and $2.25 billion for roads, bridges and other infrastructure.
Brennan says there will be more than a $10-billion shortfall in capital funds for infrastructure in the next few years and that an approved bond act would cover nearly half of that shortfall.
“Capital needs for roads, bridges and mass transit are estimated at a minimum of $45 billion for the transitional 2015-19 five-year plan cycle,” Brennan says. The federal government usually covers about half of funding requirements, leaving the state to come up with the rest, he says. “However, the history of funds used for mass transit, roads and bridges suggests that identifiable sources of state funds are only available to assure one-half of non-federal resources, a shortfall of over $10 billion.”