$1 Billion From Port Authority Not Enough for Shelly Silver

On Saturday night, the congestion pricing bill in the State Senate was amended to include exemptions for low-income drivers and cars with handicapped plates. As expected, the changes also stipulated a way to make New Jersey drivers pay "their fair share." In the amended bill, the Port Authority is required to contribute $1 billion to the MTA capital plan, or else drivers who use the Authority’s Hudson River crossings will get a smaller pricing fee offset.

The Mayor’s office released a statement yesterday expressing optimism that the changes would win over legislators who remain on the fence:

The amendments that the Senate introduced last night to their bill will address many of the remaining concerns that we’ve been hearing from the City Council and members of the State Legislature.

But the amendments apparently did not satisfy Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Appearing on New York 1 last night, Silver said drivers from outside the city were still getting off easy:

"I don’t think it addresses the issues that are before us, like those people that cross the Hudson, either coming from New Jersey or Rockland," said State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. "The statement is, you don’t contribute to congestion. It’s only Brooklyn and Queens and the Bronx we’re asking to pay, not the others. That’s one of the major issues here."

You read that right. It seems Silver either doesn’t believe a billion dollars is a big enough contribution from drivers who cross the Hudson, or he wants them to pay up directly, instead of having the Port Authority pass on funds to the MTA.

Then there’s this from today’s Post:

The State Assembly will not even consider the controversial congestion-pricing plan until a new state budget is passed, Speaker Sheldon Silver privately told his members…

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Corzine Ratchets Up Interstate Bickering

|
For months, New York legislators have insisted that New Jersey drivers pay a bigger chunk of the congestion fee than the pricing plan called for. Now that the pricing bill includes such a provision (which still doesn’t satisfy Speaker Silver), New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine is crying foul. The amendment he objects to stipulates that […]

Cy Vance to Albany: TWU Bill Would Hinder Cases Against Drunk Drivers

|
Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance sent a letter to state lawmakers warning that a bill to prevent police from detaining bus and taxi drivers at crash scenes would undermine law enforcement’s ability to collect evidence of impaired driving. The bill, which sailed through the State Senate yesterday with no public notice and without a public hearing, would bar police […]

Bloomberg: Expect Some Tweaks to Pricing Bill

|
This morning, the Mayor’s office praised the introduction of a congestion pricing bill in the State Assembly. At the end of the statement, Bloomberg drops a hint that the bill on the table is in for some fine-tuning: We look forward to working with the Assembly, the Senate, the Governor and the City Council to […]

Brennan Introduces Alternative Pricing Bill in Assembly

|
Assemblyman Jim Brennan, a Democrat from Brooklyn, has introduced a new congestion pricing bill, according to a statement released by his office. The bill contains some elements lifted from Mayor Bloomberg’s original proposal, including: Re-instating the $4 intrazonal fee Exempting drivers who cross into Manhattan below 60th Street but only drive on the periphery If […]

Lanza Introduces Amended Speed Cam Bill in State Senate

|
Albany legislation to let New York City enforce its speed limit using automated cameras got a new lease on life last week. A slate of amendments have made the bill more politically palatable, and Staten Island Republican Andrew Lanza has introduced a version of the bill in the State Senate, the first time this version […]