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Politics and Government

NY Attorney General weighs in on how to spend surplus

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Office of the Attorney General (file photo)
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New York state finds itself with a five billion dollar surplus -- something that hasn't happened in a while. It's thanks in large part to bank settlements orchestrated by the office of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

In a recent interview, Schneiderman said the money should be put in a special infrastructure fund. The attorney general says regions with economic problems hardest hit by the housing crash should be targeted to receive some of the funds.

"We should use this money is a way that has long-term benefits, helps raise up the communities that were hurt by the crash, and sends a message that New York is a good place to live, a good place to do business,” said Schneiderman.

The attorney general hopes that investing in infrastructure will attract businesses to New York. He says that if one part of New York state is suffering, the rest has to subsidize it. The attorney general says regions with economic problems hardest hit by the housing crisis should be targeted to receive some of the funds, since their property tax intake was severely hurt during the recession.

"Certainly our infrastructure needs are no secret. The crash didn't just hurt individuals who maybe lost their homes or lost their jobs, it also hurt government. The local governments that ordinarily would be maintaining infrastructure have been broken. So I think there's a lot for us to look at, and we should do this in the way that has the greatest long-term benefit for the most New Yorkers possible."

Schneiderman says to expect more money from additional bank settlements in the coming months.