ICYMI: Corning Leader Editorial - Massa capable of securing funds for our area

In case you missed it:


The following editorial was published in the Corning Leader on Thursday, February 5th, 2009 – Page 4A


Massa capable of securing funds for our area


THE ISSUE: Bringing Stimulus Package money into the 29th Congressional District


OUR OPINION: U.S. Rep Eric Massa is well positioned to secure a record amount of federal funding for our area


U.S. Rep. Eric Massa thinks he can get his hands on nearly $380 million to fund projects in the 29th Congressional District.


That jaw dropping amount would come from the $3 billion New York state would receive as part of the proposed federal economic stimulus package approved last week in the House and being debated now in the Senate.


If Massa is successful, he would have captured nearly 13 percent of what the state received – a highly disproportionate amount based on population. But we certainly won’t complain.


Is Massa being overly optimistic?


Well, maybe.


His projection Tuesday that a host of projects in the district could receive funding is just that – a projection. The decision as to what projects get money and which do not rests with the state, not with Congress or the federal government.


But, being a Democrat, Massa has an advantage since both federal and state governments are now controlled by Democrats. Even though state agencies will prioritize projects and not legislators, the top bureaucrats are party appointees. So every little bit helps.


Also, Massa is aggressive by nature – for those who don’t know – and has consulted an assortment of officials in the district so he can state a case for funding on their behalf. Massa says he’s dedicated to fulfilling those needs and we have no reason to doubt him.


It appears that school districts are already a lock to receive some extra federal funding. The real competition for money rests with projects involving infrastructure, parks, housing, higher education and economic development.


Massa said projects that are “shovel-ready” – meaning all of the preliminary work has been done – will be looked on most favorably because they will stimulate the economy the quickest. Completing local interstates – I-86 and I-99 – falls into that category and apparently so do many other local projects, according to Massa.


Massa’s predecessor, former U.S. Rep. Randy Kuhl, always took pride in what he brought back to the district and even bragged he had secured $250 million in funding in just his first term. That was impressive then, and would be today.


Massa could surpass that figure in just his first few months and appears determined to do so.




Jared Smith

Communications Director

The Office of Congressman Eric Massa