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Paterson Courts GOP Lawmakers Over MTA Rescue

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

After calling the plan for new bridge tolls "dead" last week, Governor Paterson says it's time to start working on another rescue plan for the MTA. WNYC's Matthew Schuerman reports that the governor's beginning to look across the aisle.

REPORTER: With Democrats in the state Senate deadlocked, transportation advocates have long sought to win over a few Republicans. At a news conference in Harlem, Paterson pointed out that some upstate GOP members have good reason to make sure the MTA has enough money: they represent districts that manufacture bus and subway equipment.

A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith said after the governor's comments, staff members began talking with their Republican counterparts to come up with a common solution for the MTA. But split-party votes in Albany are rare. And observers say Democratic leaders in the Senate would be admitting their own weakness if they had to rely on Republicans to get any part of their agenda approved. For WNYC, I'm Matthew Schuerman.

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