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As Western New Yorkers continue to battle one of the harshest winters in recent years, Sen. Tim Kennedy, D-Buffalo, is pushing for legislation to deal with the proliferation of potholes.

Kennedy is calling for the state to increase its spending on local roads by about $50 million through the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program. That money could be use to fix potholes and strengthen local roads.

At the same time, Kennedy wants the state to set aside money to help drivers cover vehicle damage caused by potholes. A recently released report by TRIP, a national transportation research group, found that Western New Yorkers on average spend $1,500 a year on vehicle repairs, fuel costs and lost time because of potholes. The report indicated that just 44 percent of western New York roads are considered to be in good condition.

“As Western New Yorkers, we’re accustomed to the woes winter weather can bring, but ‘Old Man Winter’ has packed a particularly hard punch this year. New York State should step in and provide relief.”