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Flanagan: MTA capital plan must mean more infrastructure money outside NYC

Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-East Northport) on

Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-East Northport) on June 25, 2015, at the Capitol in Albany. Photo Credit: AP / Mike Groll

ALBANY - Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan on Wednesday said that if the state is going to provide $8 billion to the New York City’s mass transit system, he will demand a similar investment in roads, bridges and other infrastructure outside the city.

“For decades there was parity,” he said on public radio’s “The Capitol Pressroom.”

“We had a good process, and I want to return to that,” said Flanagan (R-East Northport). “If we are going to talk about the MTA, our conference is on board with that . . . but we’re not going to have the discussion without parity.”

Over the weekend, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a deal that will provide billions of state and city money to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to buy more subway cars and buses and refurbish dated stations among other capital projects, mostly in the city.

Flanagan wouldn’t provide a total that he wants for infrastructure improvements outside the city, but said he wants to do it without increasing the state’s already high debt. Instead, Flanagan said he wants to use a “pay-as-you-go system,” but he  provided no details on how to raise that money.

“Bonding or borrowing should be anathema to everyone," he said. "Taxes should be even worse.”

The comments come as Cuomo prepares his 2016-17 budget proposal. The budget is due by April 1.

 

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