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Higgins says White House Budget is “Black and Blue-print” for Buffalo

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) says that he’s displeased and upset, regarding yesterday’s release of the White House Budget Blueprint. In fact, he states that “it’s a devastating blow to Western New York families and the local economy.”

In a press release Higgins said,“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. 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.”

Following is the economic breakdown… a sad state of affairs, according to Higgins.

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.

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

Sometimes the authors at Buffalo Rising work on collaborative efforts in order to cover various events and stories. These posts can not be attributed to one single author, as it is a combined effort. Often times a formation of a post gets started by one writer and passed along to one or more writers before completion. At times there are author attributions at the end of one of these posts. Other times, “Buffalo Rising” is simply offered up as the creator of the article. In either case, the writing is original to Buffalo Rising.

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  • I’d like to see someone defend all these cuts. At a time when Buffalo is rebounding, many of these dollars would be well spent on the projects listed above.

    No, instead let’s fund a few $15 billion aircraft carriers that we don’t need.

    Isn’t it funny how we pay taxes that fund things we don’t want?

    • No_Illusions

      Nobody can.

      It would be one thing if Trump was a strong States rightist, but he’s the opposite.

      It would be another if the budget actually reduced the deficit, but it doesn’t.

      Trump didn’t get the memo that it’s not 1910 anymore.

  • FreedomCM

    Instead of telling us what the relatively dis-empowered D-representative has to say, why not tell us what the R-representative from the suburbs who might have Trump’s ear has to say.

    • Marc Rebmann

      “Trump is the greatest, and I’ll defend almost anything he says or does, because I’m a moron” – Chris Collins

  • Doug Wallis

    May I call a whambulance for Higgins and the democrats. How long did you think the democratic gravy train would last? Forever? Stupid! Lazy! The NFTA pissed away every opportunity to extent the light rail to Amherst and Airport for 40 years with one consultants report after another. Now your whining that the NFTA expansion will suffer. What have you and the NFTA been doing for the last 40 years?
    -Look at all those projects you mentioned. Why weren’t they done before? Why is now an issue?

    These are dangerous times and Trump wants a military buildup. North Korea has nuclear capable rockets than can reach Japan and the west coast of the US. China is building sandy shoals into islands they can station military bases which can block all oil, all trade and all military ships thru the South China Sea even though they are claimed by many countries. Iran is testing missiles against Obama’s treaty. US southern border are open to Islamic Terrorists and Drug Cartels and other criminal organizations. Europe is near civil war with its millions of unassimilable welfare migrants who want shariah and nogo zones rather than to accept the cultural history and values of the host nation they adopted. These economic migrants care only about money and they will pull down the pillars of European civilization if it means continuing their welfare check. They care nothing about religious freedom, free speech, etc. Why would they? They only care about shariah and their welfare check.

    All because Obama was a horrible non-citizen African-arab-Indonesian muslim masquerading as a US citizen. Obama was and is a criminal. Now we as a nation have to fix Obama corruption and criminality and incompetent foreign policy.

    • Doug Wallis

      On second thought, California and Oregon and Washington State are all leftist lunatic asylums. The country might actually be better off if all those leftist liberals were nuked.

      • sydsizer

        DougWallis: Idiot; brainwashed ignorant, lead to believe all that is falsely fabricated by the vast right wing propaganda machine; supportive of policies that ONLY support the 1 percent. Do you realize anything that the Republicans pass will never ever benefit you? Are you that stupid?

        It continues to dumbfound me how many incompetent and straight up dumb people we have living in this country. Really does. America is a scam; being led my rubes and countless scared white people, many with an insatiable desire to love, hug and brandish guns – what a twisted fetish you people indulge yourself in….

        F all of you! Seriously, I loathe each and every one of you.

        As I have said before, all you that support these policies will eventually be held accountable for your misdeeds.

      • No_Illusions

        Sounds like rhetoric I would expect from a terrorist organization, not a god fearing individualist like yourself…

      • Lee

        Do you understand that “nukes” used any where on the planet HARM us ALL…

    • sydsizer

      Several words and concept to describe DougWallis: Idiot; brainwashed ignorant, lead to believe all that is falsely fabricated by the vast right wing propaganda machine; supportive of policies that ONLY support the 1 percent. Do you realize anything that the Republicans pass will never ever benefit you? Are you that stupid?

      It continues to dumbfound me how many incompetent and straight up dumb people we have living in this country. Really does. America is a scam; being led my rubes and countless scared white people, many with an insatiable desire to love, hug and brandish guns – what a twisted fetish you people indulge yourself in….

      F all of you! Seriously, I loathe each and every one of you.

      As I have said before, all you that support these policies will eventually be held accountable for your misdeeds.

    • No_Illusions

      This isn’t 1950 or even 1910 anymore.

      It’s 2017 and the world’s economy and communication networks are interdependent on one another.

      Soft power > Hard power

      The whisper part has now become stronger than the big stick.

      We have enough nukes to destroy the world 100x over and highly specialized mobile operatives able to take out Bin Laden at a moment’s notice.

      The days of large armies and navies are over. We already have more aircraft carriers then the rest of the world combined.

      Meanwhile at home, we can’t even take care of our own people. Pathetic.

  • Doug Wallis

    The democrats lost nearly every statehouse (governor), lost most of the house of representatives and senate. Democrats put all their eggs in the most corrupt and criminal duo in US history (Bill and Hillary, Obama and transsexual Michael Obama). Pelosi is senile. Schumer just loves to hear himself talk. The mayor of NYC is a communist and the Governor of NYS runs the state like a leftist mafia boss. All they know is higher taxes.
    -You want to fight for something. Fight for the Niagara Power Authority to pay property taxes and income taxes. Fight for western NY to have an opt out clause on laws passed by downstate. All laws are written by downstate and all regulations are enforced by downstate but downstate has a cost of living 2x upstate, western ny and the southern tier.

    • sydsizer

      Just a few words and concept to describe DougWallis: Idiot; brainwashed ignorant, lead to believe all that is falsely fabricated by the vast right wing propaganda machine; supportive of policies that ONLY support the 1 percent. Do you realize anything that the Republicans pass will never ever benefit you? Are you that stupid?

      It continues to dumbfound me how many incompetent and straight up dumb people we have living in this country. Really does. America is a scam; being led my rubes and countless scared white people, many with an insatiable desire to love, hug and brandish guns – what a twisted fetish you people indulge yourself in….

      F all of you! Seriously, I loathe each and every one of you.

      As I have said before, all you that support these policies will eventually be held accountable for your misdeeds.

    • No_Illusions

      What does that have to do with Trump?

      Stop deflecting the issue. The Republicans are in power. No. More. Excuses.

    • Lee

      Racist Buffalonians! Dont have a life change and need the NY safety net that you all seem to complain about

  • BlackRockLifer

    Trump is a threat to our nation like no other, he is the poster child for all that is wrong in our country. Trump is an entitled arrogant bully that displays crude and rude behavior on a regular basis. His dishonesty is unparalleled and his lack of common sense and basic decency have already diminished our reputation and made a mockery of the ideals and values we claim to stand for.
    Trumps budget is simply a reflection of his warped and twisted view of America and his abject ignorance of the true needs of our citizens.

  • Pete

    Even by politician standards, Brian Higgins is a sleaze. If Brian Higgins was solely put in charge of our spending we would be so far in debt we couldn’t even print our way out of it. We have NO MONEY! We are in dangerous debt, our kids are in debt. Liberals have no end to spending money and show very few results for all the money they’ve wasted. Am I for eliminating the entire HEAP program…of course not, but there is so much waste and fraud with it. Large percentages of the people that qualify for it don’t need it or need as much as they get. NPR is a liberal cess pool. Why should my federal tax dollars go to support a biased left wing radio station? Let the private sector fund them. Why does a multi-billion dollar industry (Sesame Street), need federal tax dollars to survive. Do I think most of these programs should be eliminated, probably not, but most need major cuts? Any private sector company, due to competition, makes cuts in order to survive. It’s called productivity. Government programs have no such incentive and over time become bloated bureaucracies that don’t end up helping the people they were created for. If you can’t absorb a 10 to 20% budget cut and still offer quality services, you shouldn’t be in existence. That slimy weasel Higgins runs around with his pop-up podium telling everyone how well he’s spend their money.

    • eagercolin

      Yes, you’re stupid.

    • Farras09

      Many of the cuts to this area in particular are infrastructure, environmental clean up and related to the rehabbing and upkeep of parks and buildings. Government programs are often bloated and less efficient than the private sector but I don’t think you are going to get a private sector replacement for something like HEAP. Government funds go in to things like infrastructure and park upkeep because these services generate positive externalities which means that these services will be under-supplied if they were exclusively provided by private entities.

      Also, increases to border protection and the military seem unnecessary and make the issue or the fiscal deficit worse. I am not sure what your stance on those increases are.