Spending the surplus

Updated: 08/06/2014 6:19 PM
Created: 08/06/2014 5:50 PM WHEC.com
By: Brett Davidsen

So what should the state do with a four billion dollar surplus? Officials say the state came into the money after a number of court settlements with banks and insurance companies. 

So what will the governor do with a growing budget surplus? In Canandaigua Tuesday, News10NBC asked the governor what he plans to do with the money. He said they are weighing their options.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said, "We are going to think long and hard about the best investment for it and we are going to assess the needs at the time."

The state is currently sitting on a $4.2 billion surplus that could grow to six billion, in large part, due to legal settlements with financial institutions.

William Hammond said, "We're band aiding things instead of fixing them on a permanent basis."

Macedon Town Supervisor William Hammond has some ideas on how to spend that surplus. Hammond says the money would go a long way to improving roads and bridges in his town.

Hammond said, "We are probably letting our roads go a little bit longer as far as repaving them or topping them. We are using different products, maybe some oil versus laying blacktop itself down."

In recent New York State Exposed reports, News10NBC showed you some of the bridges most in need of repair. The Canandaigua Road Bridge has been closed in Macedon for more than three years and is not scheduled for replacement until next year.      

In fact, a third of the bridges in New York State are considered structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle likes the idea of using the money for infrastructure and other one-shot capital projects and warns that it should not be put toward operational expenses because the money will not be there down the road.

Morelle said, "This is a real opportunity. An injection of this much money and I'm not suggesting necessarily that all of it be used. It can certainly be used over a period of years, but this is a great opportunity, in a sense, a windfall that's come to us.”

Governor Cuomo also warned about keeping state spending disciplined to avoid returning to a deficit situation. He is not expected to detail his plans for the surplus funds until he presents his next budget proposal in January.

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