A little over 6 hours ago, I wrote about the State Senate’s latest proposed MTA funding package which I felt was a complete dud. In that entry, I had also linked to another piece from Politicker NY which focused on Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver wondering if the proposal had enough votes to pass. According to Democratic Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith, the bill will pass when at a press conference he said, “We will have 32 votes to pass an M.T.A. plan.” Jimmy Vielkind of Politicker NY has more in this report:
The State Senate’s second publicly presented plan to provide revenue to the M.T.A. is getting a better reception, at least, than the dead-on-arrival program they introduced last month.
If Majority Leader Malcolm Smith is to be believed, it might actually pass the chamber.
Smith told reporters, at a press conference about rules reform, “We will have 32 votes to pass an M.T.A. plan.”
He was asked where the votes would come from.
“From the Senate,” he replied, unspecifically.
Gene Russianoff, the head of the Straphanger’s Campaign who had traveled up to the Capitol today with other transportation advocates to meet with top Senate officials, seemed very cautiously optimistic about the fact that there was a plan with a chance of passage. He called off plans to distribute leaflets in Brooklyn urging people to call State Senator Martin Malave Dilan to come up with a plan.
Asked if he himself found the Senate plan sufficient, he said, “That’s the exact question we’ve been trying to grapple with. At least we’ve gotten the religion of getting recognition that the whole problem needs to be addressed.”
Neysa Pranger of the Regional Plan Association, which has advocated for a rescue package in the spirit of the one proposed by M.T.A. chairman Richard Ravitch, said the Senate’s plan is a “positive step.”
Click here for the complete report.
Malcolm seems quite confident in this proposal passing even though Republicans have not come across the aisle pledging support. The possibility of them not giving the more than likely needed votes is out there when you consider one of their biggest complaints, (the payroll tax) is still considered as part of the solution. It will be interesting to see if they can really get the votes needed to pass this. Honestly, I am hoping they do not as I can’t endorse a plan that does not correctly address the problems & provide sustainable solutions.
I will not be alone in wishing for this result as the New York Taxi Workers Alliance is fuming at the taxi surcharge fee in the latest proposal. The alliance feels this proposal is paying for the needs of others off the backs of their hard working members. I feel it is hard to argue that belief when you break down the numbers & the subsequent repercussions that will come from the surcharge. In these tough economic times, it is a guarantee that this surcharge will lead to fewer rides, less tips, & completely breakdown the ridiculously slim profit margins that currently exist.
As usual, Albany continues to shortchange the MTA & the riding public it serves. This proposal is just another example of the inadequate leadership showing how it is out of touch with everyday New Yorkers & could care less about ever understanding them. Great job!
xoxo Transit Blogger