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Roads and bridges to get help in Cuomo budget proposal

ALBANY – The state will see an investment of $150 billion in critical infrastructure improvements, most of it on transportation and environmental projects, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo proposed Tuesday afternoon.

With New York City’s subway system continuing to decay and upstate roads and bridges facing sour conditions that hurt the region’s economy, the transportation funding fight will be one of the more intense as Cuomo and lawmakers try to put together a new state budget by the March 31 deadline.

Over the coming five years, Cuomo proposed to dedicate $66 billion of the $150 billion pot to mass transit, railroads, highways, bridges and tunnels. Precisely how the money would be spent has not been detailed.

After last year’s Buffalo Billion corruption trial, Cuomo is also proposing to make certain changes to how some state contracts are awarded, including a certification form to be submitted for approval by the state comptroller and Cuomo’s Office of the Inspector General.

The budget plan, however, does not restore the full pre-audit powers of the comptroller, an authority many lawmakers say they will push to include in the final budget.

Cuomo is also proposing continuing – at another cost of $750 million annually – his economic development funding approach that has 10 regions of the state compete against each other for state money.

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