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Higgins Says the Trump Budget delivers a “Black and Blue-print” on Western New York

Mar 16, 2017
Press Release
Local Economy & Families Hit Hard in White House Budget

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) said the White House Budget Blueprint, released Thursday, March 16, delivers a devastating blow to Western New York families and the local economy. 

 

“We’ve made incredible progress in Western New York in recent years, particularly along our waterfront and throughout the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, but all of it means nothing if we can’t sustain the momentum,” said Congressman Brian Higgins.  “The areas slashed and zeroed out by President Trump are those that have done the most to create local jobs, improve our economy and add to the quality of life right here in Western New York.    If the White House is successful with these budget proposals seniors, working families, researchers, artists, construction workers, small business and communities across our region will all feel the impact.”

 

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative – ELIMINATED

What it means for WNY? – Environmental and economic devastation

  • Over the last decade the federal government has invested $32.38 million in Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding in and around the Buffalo River putting the site on track to be removed from the Areas of Concern list by 2019.
  • That federal commitment has leveraged $95.6 million in additional investments including $34.6 million in state and local funding as well as $61 million from private entities.
  • Water restoration efforts have led to more than $81.2 million in new private sector projects adjacent to the Buffalo River since 2013, helped contribute to more than $750 million in further investment nearby.
  • In total, the President’s Budget cut’s the EPA by 31%.  For context: the total EPA budget represents just two-tenths of one percent of the total federal budget for 2016.

 

National Institutes of Health - $6 BILLION CUT, ELIMINATES GAINS FROM 21ST CENTURY CURES ACT

What it means for WNY? – Fewer jobs and less progress on new treatments & cures

  • Last year alone institutions in our district received close to $96 million in NIH funding supporting 252 research projects including (but not limited to):
  • $1.3M for Hauptman-Woodward
  • $6.5M for CUBRC
  • $27.8M for Roswell Park (73 research grants)
  • Nearly $58M for UB (165 research grants)

 

Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) – ELIMINATED

What it means for WNY? – Loss of jobs & economic gain from transformative infrastructure investments

  • The Niagara Falls International Railway Station recently opened was awarded $16.5 million in 2010 through the TIGER II program. 
  • In 2011 the Cars Sharing Main Street project was awarded $15 million in the TIGER III round of awards.  In 2015 the project returning vehicular traffic to Main Street in Buffalo received an additional $18 million through the TIGER Program. 

 

Federal Transit Administration (FTA) New Starts Program – NO NEW PROJECTS

What it means for WNY? – Future of NFTA Extension to Amherst less likely

  • In 2011 the FTA awarded the NFTA a $1.2 million grant to study ways to increase the ease, speed and convenience of commuting along the Amherst-Buffalo Corridor.  In January NYS announced support for light rail extension between Buffalo and Amherst. 
  • The New Starts program is the federal program which would have funded this project.

 

Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) – ELIMINATED

What it means for WNY? – Seniors and Families are left in the cold

  • Over 15,000 households in Niagara County received HEAP in 2016
  • In Erie County during the 2014-15 season, more than 90,000 cases/225,000 individuals received over $25 million in HEAP benefits.  

 

Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) – ELIMINATED

What it means for WNY? – More than $21 Million in cuts to neighborhood & community improvements across the region, shifting costs to local taxpayers

  • Impact to municipalities in NY-26 (based on 2016 allocations) & examples of projects funded by federal CDBG dollars last year:
    • Buffalo (-$12.5M): demo of vacant property, upgrades to community centers, parks, youth programs, streets & sidewalks.  Future funding requests include $4M in CDBG funding for the Northland Beltline Corridor project.    
    • Niagara Falls (-$2.2M): Hyde Park improvements, home rehabs, first-time homebuyer program, youth programming
    • Lackawanna (-$456,763): Center Street reconstruction, home rehab on 19 properties
    • City of Tonawanda (-$593,993): Intermodal-Hub, Dodge Street sewer, home rehab on 9 properties
    • Amherst (-$486,000): Veteran & domestic-violence victim housing assistance, afterschool programming, sidewalks, weatherization assistance
    • Cheektowaga(-$1.33M): Sidewalks on Cedar, Tudor & Campbell Streets, Police foot/bicycle patrols, home rehab on 58 properties, rehab/resale of abandoned homes on Stratford, McParlin, Lyman & Woodell
    • Grand Island (-$183,113): Demo of Nike Base building, Town Master Plan, home rehab on 3 properties
    • Town of Tonawanda (-$1.49M): Demo 8 vacant units to make way for future development, a microenterprise loan fund for small business, home rehab on 40 properties
    • West Seneca (-$357,231): Repaving of Birchwood, N. Covington, Burch & Grace Streets, home rehab on 13 properties

 

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) / National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) / Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB ) – ELIMINATED

What it means for WNY? – A significant hit to arts & cultural programs that drive the WNY economy, tourism and add to our quality of life

  • Locally, non-profit arts groups and their audiences have an $87.4 million economic impact, employ 2,900 FTEs, and generate $4.3 million in government revenue. 
  • Since 2000, WNY organizations have received more than $3.4 million in NEA funding supporting programs at: Albright Knox, Squeaky Wheel, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Hallwalls, Just Buffalo Literary Center, Locust Street Art, MUSE, UB Center for the Arts, Studio Arena, Young Audiences of WNY & others. 
  • In the last 2 years WNY projects through the University at Buffalo, Buffalo State College, Albright Knox and the BWO have received approximately $700,000 in NEH funding. 
  • The New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), receives $745,675 from the NEA which is then given our across the state in grants to organizations.
  • Last year, the total combined federal allocation of the NEA and NEH was just 0.0003% of the $4 billion federal budget.

 

Economic Development Administration (EDA) - ELIMINATED

What it means for WNY? – Disinvestment in start-ups and economic development

  • Only federal government agency focused exclusively on Economic Development.
  • Since 2010, $1.8M EDA funds received/invested in developing plan, mentorship programs and entrepreneurship support program for 27 Counties in Upstate NY.  The program is now known as Launch NY - 500 start-up businesses served, comprising more than 1300 jobs.  
  • In 2016 EDA awards $160K from POWER Initiative to UB Regional Institute to work with Town of Tonawanda on economic action plan: Tonawanda Tomorrow.  The project is aimed at re-positioning the town as a regional center for sustainable job growth and encouraging new economic opportunities following the Huntley Station shutdown.

 

Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) – ELIMINATED

What it means for WNY? – Hurts small and medium manufacturers & the jobs they support

  • Insyte Consulting in WNY has been the top MEP performer nationwide since 2013. 
  • Over the last 3 years, in NY-26 alone, Insyte has worked with 72 small and midsized manufacturers (SMMs) generating over $329 million in sales, cost savings, investments and other benefits, including 550 jobs created or saved.
  • 2,811 manufacturing jobs created or saved across the region. 
  • Insyte has returned $326.58 for every $1 of federal and state funding received, based on $889,650,223 of client reported impact divided by $3,056,400 in Federal and State funding received by Insyte for the years 2014-2016.

 

Congressman Higgins, a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Budget Committee, intends to fight against the destructive and short-sighted provisions in the President’s budget.