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Albany Reform

Silver Introduces “Courtesy” Pricing Bill, Wants a Millionaire Tax

10:30 AM EDT on March 27, 2008

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver introduced a congestion pricing bill yesterday, but was quoted as saying "we have a long way to go" before it clears his chamber.

The Times reports that Silver, introducing the plan "as a courtesy to the new governor," agreed not to "block" it "in exchange for some version of the new tax on anyone making more than $1 million." But some Republican lawmakers who might otherwise support congestion pricing are opposed to the "millionaire tax" (as is Mayor Bloomberg).

And Assembly Democrats were peeved when Governor David Paterson seemed to dismiss the prospect of legislative pay raises in today's Times story, according to the Daily Politics.

One lawmaker deemed it "disingenuous" for the new governor to come around praising Democrats at a time when he needs their support very badly - not the least of which for Mayor Bloomberg's congestion pricing plan - and not mention that he plans to tank something that is of utmost importance to them.

"It puts another chill on enthusiasm for the new governor - beyond all the other letdowns and setbacks we've seen already," the lawmaker said.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver didn't mention the pay raise issue, either, the lawmaker said.

The City Council has yet to pass the home-rule message needed to
place pricing in Albany's hands, though Speaker Christine
Quinn says she is "optimistic" the votes will be there.

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