Good news bill for Buffalo

July 11, 2012 by  

Buffalo officials got good news at the end of June with passage of the Federal Transportation Bill. Projects ranging from fish to bridges will now be able to go forward. Investment in infrastructure projects at Canadian border crossings, endeavors to eradicate invasive Asian carp from Lake Erie, as well as a host of other ventures should translate into jobs.

The legislation has been wending its way through congress for the past two years but lawmakers on Capitol Hill dedicated themselves to working out solutions, as evidenced in the final version of the bill. Since earmarks (money designated by a particular legislator to support a specific project) are not included, what work will get underway immediately is not yet clear. Congress has left it to the states to make the majority of the decisions regarding how their share of the money will be spent, with the Department of Transportation determining the rest of the expenditures.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a democrat who helped write part of the legislation, noted that construction projects focused on facility upgrades at the border will assist in the growth of local economies by expanding the connection and forging closer ties between the New York and Canadian business communities. This promises to be good news for all types of industries from printing companies to retail clothing stores.

All of western New York’s lawmakers joined Gillibrand and New York’s other senator, Chuck Schumer, in supporting the bill which promises to offer widespread benefits for Buffalo and surrounding areas. Though the funds still must move through the allocation process on both the federal and state level, money should soon be flowing into the region.