Congestion Pricing Plan Dies in New York Assembly

Members of the New York State Assembly decided late Monday not to vote on New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's congestion pricing plan, a plan that the state would have needed to approve by April 7 to be eligible for more than $350 million.

April 8, 2008, 5:00 AM PDT

By Nate Berg


"Democratic members of the State Assembly, who control the chamber, held one final meeting to debate the merits of Mr. Bloomberg's plan, ultimately conferring - in secret - before Sheldon Silver, the speaker, emerged to announce the outcome. The opposition was so overwhelming, he said, that he would not hold an open vote of the full Assembly, though many Republicans were supportive of Mr. Bloomberg."

"'The congestion pricing bill did not have anywhere near a majority of the Democratic conference, and will not be on the floor of the Assembly,' Mr. Silver, who represents the Lower East Side of Manhattan, said after his meeting with fellow Democrats. A spokesman for Mayor Bloomberg quickly denounced the decision as 'one of the biggest cop-outs in New York's history.'"

"At about 6 p.m., legislative leaders emerged from the meeting saying that the congestion pricing plan was dead with no hope of resuscitation. Senate majority leader Joseph L. Bruno said the Assembly had adjourned until Tuesday morning without ever taking a vote on the bill."

"Mr. Silver said if the Assembly would have held an official vote, fewer than 25 members of the chamber would have voted in favor of the bill. Mr. Bruno emerged from the meeting appearing a bit less flustered and frustrated than when he went in, saying that the budget was closer to being finished, that finalizing the spending plan has been tough going."

Monday, April 7, 2008 in The New York Times

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