Cuomo tried to get half a billion in loans from the EPA clean water fund for the bridge, but that attempt was rejected yesterday.
Now people are worried that Cuomo will have to raise tolls on the Thruway and pull money from other sources in order to pay for the bridge.
Cuomo's administration has not released a financial plan for the funding of the bridge, though they do tout this bridge replacement and the speed with which it is being built as proof for how quickly Cuomo can get things done.
What I haven't seen connected to the bridge story yet is the bond act Cuomo is pushing this year to wire schools across the state with the technology needed for online computerized testing, which he calls the Smart Schools Initiative:
$2 Billion Smart Schools Bond Act Referendum November 4, 2014 – Proposal #3
In January 2014, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo called for New York State to invest $2 billion in its schools through a Smart Schools Bond Act that will build out schools and classrooms for the 21st Century to ensure that our students graduate with the skills they need to thrive in the economy of today and tomorrow.
Smart Schools CommissionUnder the leadership of Governor Cuomo, the Smart Schools Commission will lead a research effort into best practices into technology-enabled education and broadband connectivity efforts. In preparation for the Commission’s final report that will be developed in Fall 2014, we will invite local and national experts to present best practices for the Commission’s consideration over the coming months at public symposiums and Commission meetings.
Cuomo's selling this thing as an upgrade for school infrastructure, but what it's really is a boondoggle for his tech and edu-entrepreneur donors.
The upgrades are needed to run the computerized standardized tests the NYSED, the Regents and their Gates Foundation/ed reformer funders want in the near future.
Cuomo's Smart Schools Commission is meeting today:
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Smart Schools Public Symposium
WHAT: Public Symposium – Bridging the Broadband Divide in New York State
WHEN: Wednesday , September 17, 2014 from 12 pm - 2 pm
WHERE: Fifth Floor Atrium, Clinical and Translational Research Center, University at Buffalo 875 Ellicott Street , Buffalo NY 14203
Come hear from technology and education experts about innovative, successful approaches to school and community connectivity and technology - enabled education practices that can help to reimagine New York’s public schools for the 21st century.
It's ironic that Cuomo's looking to get state voters to pony up $2 billion to "bridge" the broadband divide when he can't find the $3.9 billion he needs to pay for the other bridge he's building at the same time - the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement.
I do hope voters reject Cuomo's Smart Schools bond boondoggle, since it's really about nothing other than getting schools wired for computerized testing.
But given the mess he's made with the Tappan Zee Bridge project, who knows where the money will actually end up if voters say yes to the bond.
Hell, if Cuomo can try and divert money meant for sewers and clean water to a bridge project, you can bet he might try and take money meant to "Bridge the Broadband Divide" and put that into other things as well.
Perhaps even a real bridge.
Although if it's between paying for a real bridge or "bridging the broadband divide" so they'll have the infrastructure for computerized testing, I suppose I'd rather they build a real bridge.
At least a real bridge would be useful.