Our Cynicism Rewarded: Albany MTA Plan Still Not Ready
It wasn't just because we're lazy -- we thought the state senate MTA plan that everyone's been talking about sounded a little shaky, so we let it alone. And we were right: neither Sheldon Silver nor Governor Paterson are happy with the senators' proposal. They say it's about a quarter-billion dollars short. They're worried that the senate plan takes care of the MTA's operating needs (everyday stuff like salaries, basic services) but doesn't take care of the capital needs (new equipment, boondoggles).
Nonetheless the senate will vote on the plan tomorrow. Some reports continue to predict a swift conclusion to the matter, but we just got a press release from the assembly speaker's office, and it says "Assembly Advances Package To Preserve And Protect The Environment" instead of something about glorious victory on the MTA, so we're guessing a few more days of Doomsday at least.
Update 7:00 p.m.: Just got this: "Speaker Silver to Hold Media Avail Regarding MTA With Governor Paterson And Majority Leader Smith, 7 p.m." Could we be wrong? There's always a first time.
Update 11:00 p.m.: We'll be damned: "Lawmakers Strike Deal to Rescue New York Transit." The deal includes, within the MTA service area, a payroll tax, a 50-cent surcharge on taxi rides, a $25 increase in vehicle-registration fees, a 25-to-30 percent increase in drivers' license fees, and a five percent auto-rental tax. The vote is scheduled for tomorrow.
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