The MTA Bailout Hold Up Continues
March 9th, 2009
There was talk over the weekend that a deal for a Metropolitan Transit Authority bailout was near. However, today a deal† seems far away as ever as opposition to the plan in the Senate has solidified in the form of at least 5 Senators who stand against it.
Majority Leader Malcolm Smith played down concerns that a few members were holding up the plan.† Smith insisted that the Senate does not have a full plan in place for members to decide on yet. “We’re still going over the plan itself,” Smith told reporters at a press conference this morning.
Smith and Paterson say that there is still time for a plan to be reached before the March 25 deadline. On that date the MTA says that it will have to make major cuts to service and increase fares if it has not received a bailout.
Critics say that the MTA bailout is the first real test of Smith’s leadership. Smith faces dissension from the three Democratic Senators who stood against him in his bid to take over as the Democratic leader in the Senate.
And another test is looming.† Senate Democrats have said they want to introduce a budget bill by the end of the week.
The problem is that the majority has yet to hire all the staffers it needs to complete the task. Advocates worry that if there is not a deal on the MTA bailout before† budget talks heat up the plan will be lost in the shuffle.By David King on March 9, 2009, 1:36 pm
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