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Albany Reform

Charting a Course for Pricing Through City Council

10:55 AM EST on March 7, 2008

CD12_Seabrook_G9.jpgCrain's Insider has the most detailed look yet at the odds that the City Council will pass a congestion pricing bill [PDF]. The good news is that pricing stands a decent chance of getting through committee, thanks in part to some maneuvering by Speaker Christine Quinn. As things progress, expect to hear more about uncommitted council members like Larry Seabrook (right), who may cast the deciding vote in committee. Via The Politicker, here's the scoop from Crain's:

Congestion pricing's first test in theCity Council will be a vote this month bythe State and Federal Legislation Committee,chaired by Maria Baez, D-Bronx.Speaker Christine Quinn, a pricing supporter,gave the measure a boost by assigningit to Baez's panel instead of theFinance Committee, chaired by pricingopponent David Weprin, who had requestedit. Quinn added two members toBaez’s committee last fall, improving theplan’s chances for passage.But committee member Lew Fidler,D-Brooklyn, says the nine-member panelis split. He pegs the uncommitted LarrySeabrook, D-Bronx, as a potential swingvote.

Seabrook is one of 20 council members to sign the letter requesting "fairer" fees be assessed on New Jersey drivers as part of any congestion pricing plan. He is also one of eight council members to officially endorse PlaNYC last June.

Crain's also notes that Fidler predicts a close vote in the council as a whole, while John Liu believes pricing will pass after some tinkering to make it easier for Albany to swallow.

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