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Bloomberg Still Optimistic About Taxi Bill

Thursday, December 08, 2011

WNYC

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he Friday he remains optimistic Governor Andrew Cuomo will sign a bill that would put $1 billion in the city's coffers and allow street hails of some livery cabs in residential areas.

Bloomberg said on his weekly WOR Radio appearance Friday that he'd spoken to Cuomo the day before. He didn't disclose the details.

Cuomo said Wednesday that talks had failed to resolve significant issues with the bill. He said that without agreement, he'd veto it and wait for it to be brought up again next year.

The plan to allow a new class of livery car to accept street hails in upper Manhattan that was at the center of Bloomberg's legislative agenda this year is facing a veto by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The bill passed the state legislature last summer and is finally expected to be sent to Cuomo on Friday to sign. He has said he will veto it because efforts to revise the legislation through chapter amendments failed this week.

Cuomo said there were a myriad of issues that remained unresolved, including ensuring more wheelchair accessibility into the plan.

"I’ve said from day one, if we don't have a resolution of these issues I'm going to veto the bill because you don't have an agreement. We have been trying we've had numerous meeting over the past few weeks but we failed to reach resolution.”

The bill has faced passionate opposition from yellow taxi fleet owners, some in the livery industry and advocates for the disabled.

When Bloomberg was asked by reporters on Thursday if the bill was going to die, he appeared to be holding out hope for his plan, which he has said will increase taxi options beyond Manhattan.

“Many times the governor has assured me this would pass with some minor changes," he said. "We’ve worked on it with the governor’s staff, the state senate staff, the state assembly staff for months now.”

Cuomo has 10 days to decide whether to sign the bill or veto.

He has said that if he veto’s the legislation could be reintroduced early next year so there’s more time to resolve some of the key issues.

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