Tuesday, August 03, 2010
By Karen DeWitt : NYS Public Radio/WXXI
New York state lawmakers finally completed the over-four-months-late state budget on Tuesday evening. The State Senate approved the revenue portion of the budget, making it one of the latest budgets in New York State history.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
As part of radio blitz this morning, David Paterson laid out the case against Democratic and Republican opposition to his budget cuts.
Friday, May 28, 2010
By Karen DeWitt : NYS Public Radio/WXXI
Monday, June 01, 2009
By Bob Hennelly
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
By Richard Yeh : Producer, WNYC News
New York Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith says his Democratic caucus has a "framework" for an agreement on Governor Paterson's MTA rescue plan that would minimize fare hikes and service cuts. Last night he met with Long Island senators Craig Johnson and Brian Foley, who had been holding out on the plan.
Foley says one of the things that won him over was Smith's insistence on better oversight of the MTA, including a financial audit.
FOLEY: "If an when the forensic audit is completed, which will show the real expenses and real revenues for the MTA, that then we're gonna be able to make additional adjustments to the payroll tax and other payments that go to the MTA."
Foley and Johnson had been holding out primarily over the payroll tax in Paterson's plan. The governor has sought to placate suburban lawmakers with a proposal to reimburse school districts for the tax. It's not clear if they will instead push to exempt schools from the tax entirely.
Others, including Mayor Bloomberg, complain that though Paterson's plan would avert fare hikes and service cuts, it does nothing to address the agency's long-term capital needs. Paterson says the legislature may take up the capital plan later this year.
PATERSON: "The capital plan is not the issue if you are going over the bridges and the tolls are going up 30 percent, and if you live in a place where there'll be no service at all -- which is going to be the case if we don't address it -- that is the most immediate problem."
Monday, March 23, 2009
By Matthew Schuerman : Editor, WNYC
An MTA Committee has said 'yes' to mass transit fare hikes. The unanimous vote by the Finance Committee is the first of two approvals needed before a single ride rises to $2.50. Board members say state lawmakers should step in with a rescue plan before the full board votes on Wednesday.
Allen Cappelli, a board member from Staten Island, says time is running out. 'There are 45 hours before this disaster goes into effect and I hope that something will sink in with both the Democrats and the Republicans,' says Cappelli.
Chairman Dale Hemmerdinger struck a conciliatory tone to reporters afterwards, saying he was optimistic that the state Senate would step in to prevent those fares from taking effect. 'They are going to make it happen, I believe, as soon as they can get together and figure out what they as a majority want to do it,' says Hemmerdinger. 'They will do it as soon as they can I'm sure they want to do it as quickly as we want them to do it.'
Commuters at Grand Central Station this afternoon generally didn't like hearing the latest news about train service. Manhattan resident Eileen Conway, 26, who takes the subway regularly, said it comes at the wrong time. 'A lot of people don't have the funds that they did even six months ago and the fact that they are working with less and having to pay more is incredible,' says Conway.
Metro-North riders would also see their fares go up. Cesar Rodriguez takes occasional trips down to Manhattan from his home near Beacon. But he doubts he will come as often if the off-peak fare goes up from $12 to $15 as approved today. 'It's like they don't want you to come down here,' says Rodriguez. 'As soon as you come down they want to hit you over the head right away.'
Governor Paterson and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver have reached an agreement. But the Democratic majority of the state Senate has rejected the bridge tolls on the East River as a means of helping the MTA, while Republicans are resisting the payroll tax.