Kate Hinds covers transportation for WNYC News.
New York's Transit Lockbox Bill Now in Cuomo's Hands
Friday, November 01, 2013 - 04:47 PM
A dedicated source of revenue for the state's transit system is just a gubernatorial signature away.
The goal of the bill is to ensure funds for state transportation agencies don't get diverted to plug budget holes, as has occasionally been the case in New York. Just this year, Governor Andrew Cuomo redirected $20 million away from the MTA -- although he later "found" $40 million to allocate to the city's transit agency.
"The bill just basically sets the right attitude that money collected for mass transit will be spent on mass transit," said Jerry Kassar, the chief of staff for Senator Marty Golden. Golden sponsored the bill.
But will the governor sign it?
"That's the $20 million question. Literally," tweeted the Tri-State Transportation Campaign.
"We wouldn’t have made the effort if we think there wasn’t a good chance," said Kassar, who pointed out that the bill has broad support across the state.
A spokesman for Cuomo's office said the governor was reviewing the bill.