Albany Chaos Open Thread

With Governor Paterson’s political career flaming out in spectacular fashion, speculation is rampant that he might step down any day, thrusting Richard Ravitch into New York state’s executive office.

Ravitch would inherit a budget crisis of epic proportions and a state capital that was already in utter disarray. The potential succession would also elevate a former MTA chair with no future political ambitions, at a time when transit funding is in dire straits and no one in Albany seems inclined to face up to the problem.

Consider this an open thread for predictions on how the next few weeks and months will play out in Albany. I’m dying to see who’s going to be Ravitch’s lieutenant governor.

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Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch opens his new report on transportation funding in his characteristically blunt fashion: “New York State currently lacks the revenues necessary to maintain its transportation system in a state of good repair, and the State has no credible strategy for meeting future needs.” It doesn’t get any cheerier from there. Faced with […]

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Is 2010 the year of bridge tolls? Or will it be 2011 or 2012? If the editorial boards and political insiders are even half right, New York State appears to be back on the brink of an epic fiscal crisis. Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch said today that the state faces a deficit of $9 billion […]

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The much-anticipated report from the Ravitch Commission is scheduled to be released within the hour. The report is expected to include recommendations for an eight percent increase in transit fares along with tolls on East River and, possibly, Harlem River bridges — measures deemed necessary to avert the MTA "doomsday" scenario of a 23 percent […]

Weiner’s Transit Plan: [This Space Intentionally Left Blank]

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Photo: Ben Fried Minutes after the Ravitch plan press conference wrapped up this afternoon, Anthony Weiner held court (briefly) on the sidewalk outside the state office building on 41st Street and Third Avenue. Here, in bullet point form, are some choice quotes from the man who would be the next mayor of New York: The […]

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Beyond Ravitch: Still Time for a Bolder Plan

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As Albany lawmakers ponder which of a half-dozen Ravitch plan variations they might support, the possibility looms that no solution may come in time. New Yorkers could see their fares rise 25 percent while service is cut back — a twin catastrophe in this tough economic time. Yet no big new ideas are being advanced […]