Gov. Andrew Cuomo in Williamsville on Thursday defended the disputed state signs erected along highways and the Thruway system as a way of advertising tourism in New York.

Cuomo insisted the signs, which the federal government contends are illegal because they do not follow required guidelines, are helping boost tourism.

“Obviously we’re meeting the law and we’re talking to the federal government about it,” Cuomo said. “They have technical questions about the signs.”

The signs advertise tourism, destinations and I Love NY-brand apps to motorists.

“It’s called making money for the people of New York and I’m proud of it,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo administration officials on Wednesday told a joint legislative budget panel the signs cost $8.1 million.

Cuomo rolled the cost of the signage into a broader tourism strategy he says is working.

“Revenue has gone up $9 billion this state. Tourism revenue — $9 billion for a $150 million investment. We’re getting tourism in upstate New York at levels we’ve never gotten before,” he said. “You’re darn right I’m going to advertise New York and tourism because we’re making money at it.”