Heard Around Town: March 28, 2012

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* Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the New York Works program to coordinate billions in infrastructure improvements the "cornerstone" of his budget deal with the Legislature yesterday. But it's not totally working for some transportation advocates. "We're not super-excited," said Michael Murphy, communications director of Transportation Alternatives. "We look at this budget from a transit perspective and we have to say, 'Where's the beef?'" New York Works would create a 15-member task force to oversee $16 billion in capital improvements, but Murphy said how much of that money would be dedicated to transit improvements is unknown. "In the MTA funding deal, we just see more debt financing," he said. But Richard Anderson, president of the New York Building Congress, said he couldn't be more pleased with New York Works, arguing in a statement that the program will help "facilitate critical infrastructure improvements, create jobs and improve New York's competitiveness and quality of life."

* Former NYPD officer Joseph Concannon is the latest potential Republican challenger to emerge to take on Democratic Queens Sen. Tony Avella. While former Sen. Frank Padavan would have the first shot at the nomination, the district lines were not especially Republican-friendly, so Padavan may take a pass. Padavan said he's listening to people who want him to run again, but hasn't made a decision. One factor: whether Avella finds himself in a primary with fellow Democratic Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky, who now share a district. While Concannon didn't comment, Queens Republican activist Frank Ammendolea is already trying to build support for him on Facebook, writing, "A former NYC police officer, he knows what it takes to preserve our suburban quality of life. He will be a great State Senator in the tradition of Frank Padavan."

To read the full article at City and State click here.

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