McLAUGHLIN: BILLIONS IN TAX DOLLARS TO FUND BUDGETLESS TAPPAN ZEE PROJECT

          Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R,C,I-Schaghticoke) today called on the New York State Thruway Authority (NYSTA) to publicly release a financial plan that will detail its use of taxpayer money on the reconstruction of the Tappan Zee Bridge. McLaughlin said that he, along with many other legislators, has been calling for a financial plan for years and the state budget irresponsibly allocated $750 million in tax dollars to a clearly inept government agency with no specifics on how it will spend the money.

          “According to language in the 2015-16 Enacted State Budget, NYSTA cannot legally spend money allocated to it unless it submits a spending report to the governor, Assembly speaker and Senate majority leader,” McLaughlin said. “Chairman Megna specifically outlined the importance of a financial plan during the January 2015 budget hearings, yet we are still waiting on specifics and a FOIL request was denied last year. Do we really want to allow an organization with a history of financial mismanagement to have control over one of the biggest capital projects in the history of New York State? The new bridge’s multi-billion dollar cost is likely to be paid for with massive toll hikes which will ultimately burden businesses and be passed down to consumers as they seek to recover their increased transportation and labor costs. I am once again calling on Chairman Megna to release a detailed financial plan for the Authority as well as the Tappan Zee Bridge project. The Thruway Authority has been devoid of accountability and transparency for many years, and that is unacceptable.”

          The Thruway Authority was allocated $1.285 billion in the 2015-16 Enacted Budget and construction of the new Tappan Zee Bridge project is estimated at $3.9 billion. $1.6 billion of the bridge’s cost will come from a low-interest loan through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Transportation Infrastructure Financing and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program.           

Assemblyman McLaughlin represents the 107th district, which consists of parts of Rensselaer, Columbia and Washington counties. For more information,
please visit Assemblyman McLaughlin’s Official Website 

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Steve McLaughlin for Assembly