The Federal Highway Administration recently announced that it would withhold $14 million in highway funds from New York for the installation of more than 500 “I Love NY” signs across the state.
The announcement comes after more than four years of warnings from the FHA during the administrations of both Barack Obama and Donald Trump not to install and to remove the signs.
Unfortunately, the authoritarianism that has defined Gov. Cuomo’s tenure has come at the cost of millions of dollars that could’ve been put toward New York’s underfunded schools and deteriorating subways and infrastructure.
Now, after the governor wasted $8 million to install signs, we’ll need to pay millions more to remove them, or risk losing an additional $14 million in funding for our highways, which are in desperate need of more funding. If the governor had put his ego aside, adhered to federal highway rules and found some way to compromise before he disregarded the law, we could have avoided this embarrassing debacle in the first place.
On May 31, 2013, the NYS Department of Transportation wrote a formal request to the Federal Highway Administration to install the signs, but the request was denied two weeks later after they were deemed “promotional advertising” and prohibited under the federal Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways. On Jan. 9, 2014, Gov. Cuomo announced the new signage in his 2014 State of the State address.
Assemblyman Errigo represents the 133rd District, which consists of Livingston and parts of Steuben and Monroe counties. Visit nyassembly.gov/mem/Joseph-A-Errigo for information.