75
      Tuesday
      86 / 65
      Wednesday
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      Thursday
      86 / 64

      Influential state senator suggests $4.2 billion windfall go toward infrastructure projects

      The head of the State Senate Finance Committee suggests spending a huge windfall on infrastructure projects instead of education or tax cuts.

      Syracuse area Senator John DeFrancisco says there was no way he saw this windfall coming because it was a legal settlement with a bank which violated international sanctions for doing business with blacklisted countries. But now that the money is here, DeFrancisco says it should be spent on new york's aging infrastructure. "My suggestion is to use it for infrastructure. Syracuse is like every other city or even in rural areas, it's falling apart. Everyday there's more construction to fix a water main or fix a road or do something they don't have money for." the Senator told CNY Central's Jim Kenyon.

      D e F rancisco says it would be a "mistake" to use the extra money for education or tax cuts because it's a one shot opportunity. "We made that mistake once when the federal government had all that stimulus money coming in. It was used for education and other things. What ended up happening is the following year, the money wasn't there, so how do you fill the gap?" DeFrancisco said.

      The Senator says any proposals to spend the windfall will require additional legislative action and he hopes it can wait until after the November elections. "It will get a lot of votes to say it's going to education or for tax cuts, but it seems to me if it's a one shot opportunity, our roads, bridges, infrastructure are falling apart and we should use it as a one shot remedy for some of that construction we can't afford right now."

      T here's talk of steering some the money into the reconstruction of the Tappan Zee Bridge which serves the New York City area.. DeFrancisco would support that, "as long as the distribution is regionally equitable. So if you're going to use a portion for the Tappan Zee Bridge, you better have a similar amount going to upstate."