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Gotham Gazette

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Citizens Union
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James Brennan

James Brennan

  • Congestion Pricing Train Already Running Late in Albany

    andrew cuomo mta columbus circle trs

    photo via the Governor's office


    There is plenty of debate ongoing about the pros and cons of congestion pricing - but little discussion yet about the purpose of creating such a large flow of money -- $1-$1.5 billion a year -- that logically must be a way to fund the next MTA capital plan. That plan is due out in the fall of 2019 for a five-year cycle from 2020 through 2024.

    The MTA had estimated that both the existing plan (2015-19) and the prior plan (2010-14) would cost about $30 billion each. For both plans,

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  • With MTA Facing Massive Shortfall, A Lot Riding on New Congestion Pricing Push

    Cuomo MTA subway escalator

    Gov. Cuomo in the subway (photo: The Governor's Office)


    Governor Cuomo’s “Fix NYC” commission produced a framework for a congestion pricing plan, released just after the governor’s Executive Budget for the 2018-19 Fiscal Year, which begins April 1. The congestion pricing framework outlines a three-year phase-in that would provide revenue of $1 billion to $1.5 billion a year starting in 2020, most of which would be intended for the MTA Capital Plan.

    That is also the year the MTA must begin its next five-year capital plan for continued

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  • Contrary to Cuomo Claim, Upstate Economy Faltered This Century, Not Last

    Cuomo upstate jobs

    Gov. Cuomo upstate (photo: The Governor's Office)


    Governor Cuomo described the Upstate New York economy as suffering from a “bad 50 years “ as he tried to explain why it was hard to stimulate rapid growth in the region’s economy, which has grown far more slowly than the rest of the state and nation (see my prior column: Upstate New York is Home to Heavy Voter Turnout, Major State Investment, and

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  • New York Becomes 17th State to Call for Constitutional Overturn of Citizens United

    squadron et al demand democracy

    Sen. Squadron and "Demand Democracy" ralliers (photo: @DanielSquadron)


    Amid increasing calls for New York to pass bold government ethics reform and minimize the role of money in elections, a bipartisan majority of state lawmakers has taken a symbolic but somewhat significant step in calling for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution overturning the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in the Citizens United case.

    In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court

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