Dilan Says He Will Do Road and Bridge Hearings, Whatever Paterson Says

ALBANY—Regardless of what David Paterson thinks, State Senator Martin Malave Dilan pledged to go ahead with hearings on a plan to fund roads and bridges upstate.

"Instead of a five-year transportation capital program, Governor Paterson saw fit to release his take on the plan while simultaneously striking it down and placing the onus on the legislature. While I agree that the plan must be 'fiscally prudent,' amongst other criteria, as Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee I would like the time to review the plan before its publicly written off," Dilan said, in a statement.

"While I understand the State's fiscal predicament, and applaud Governor Paterson's efforts to remedy it, I cannot condone actions on his part to undermine the legislature and be both the judge and jury on an issue as important as statewide transportation. If the Governor wanted a 'need-based' priority plan, he should have asked the executive agency responsible for drafting one to do so."

Republicans, meanwhile, are reminding us that they predicted that upstate areas would be bypassed when funding for roads and bridges was de-coupled from funding for the M.T.A.

Scott Reif, a spokesman for Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos, said they have "proven their word is no good."

"When the New York City-dominated Senate Democrat conference rammed through an MTA bailout plan and completely ignored Upstate's transportation needs, they asked its residents to trust them to deliver an Upstate road and bridge plan this fall," Reif said.