State Assembly Wants to Restore Cuomo’s $65 Million MTA Cut

Don't let him pick your pockets. Photo: Governor’s office/Flickr
Don't let him pick your pockets. Photo: Governor’s office/Flickr

Assembly lawmakers want to restore the $65 million transit cut in Governor Cuomo’s draft budget.

To reverse the cut, the draft budget released by the Carl Heastie-led Assembly [PDF, page 65-2] reallocates $65 million from New York Works, Cuomo’s infrastructure piggy bank, to the MTA. New York Works would still receive $1.54 billion in the Assembly budget.

In 2012, Cuomo promised he would send $320 million from the state’s general fund to the MTA each year to compensate for cutting the Payroll Mobility Tax as a sop to Senate Republicans. But in Cuomo’s 2017 draft budget the MTA receives $244 million from general fund, $65 million less than in 2016.

That’s $65 million that won’t be spent on purchasing high-capacity subway cars, adding more bus service, or making transit stations ADA-accessible.

Transit riders, meanwhile, are about to pay $300 million more each year thanks to the latest fare hike, which takes effect Sunday, all while putting up with rising rates of subway delays and slower bus service.

The State Senate hasn’t released a budget yet, but State of Politics says Senate Dems want “to see the MTA receive full funding.” That doesn’t mean much without support from Jeff Klein, whose Independent Democratic Conference controls the balance of power in the Senate — though IDC member Diane Savino, of Staten Island, is among the lawmakers who have come out against the Cuomo cut.