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Transit Lockbox Passes Senate Unanimously, Needs Final Push In Assembly

6:07 PM EDT on June 22, 2011

This afternoon, the transit lockbox bill passed the State Senate, where it was sponsored by Brooklyn Republican Marty Golden, and according to the Senate's twitter feed, the vote was unanimous. The legislation, which would bar the governor from raiding transit funds while raising the political cost of legislative raids through a series of disclosure requirements, now moves to the Assembly.

Since 2009, Albany has stolen $260 million in dedicated funds from the MTA in order to patch up the state’s budget.

James Brennan, the sponsor for the bill in the Assembly, is working to get it on the Ways and Means Committee agenda for tonight, said his legislative director, Lorrie Smith. The session will continue tomorrow, so the bill could also pass the Assembly then. Especially at this point in the session, the future of the bill is in the hands of Speaker Sheldon Silver, who will decide whether it comes to a vote.

The Assembly version of the lockbox bill currently has 39 sponsors and is backed by an unusually broad coalition of labor, business groups, and transportation advocates.

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