NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Mayor Bill de Blasio and mayors from across the state were in Albany on Monday.
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They’re calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to restore millions of dollars in funding to municipal governments.
De Blasio asked the legislature to exempt poor people from paying a congestion fee to drive into Manhattan, but got strong blowback from an unexpected quarter.
It was tin cup day in Albany, with the mayor asking the legislature to restore more than $600 million of cuts in state aid proposed by Cuomo.
“It will mean program cuts, loss of jobs through attrition,” de Blasio warned.
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While lawmakers at a joint senate assembly budget hearing were noncommittal about giving New York City more dough – they have a $2 billion hole in their own budget – another mayoral proposal drew ire from lawmakers, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported.
“If congestion pricing is an option, please include hardship exemptions,” de Blasio said.READ MORE: 'Wicked' Cancels Weekend Shows Due To COVID Test Results And Scheduled Absences
The mayor said he wanted the poor, seniors and others to get so-called “carve outs.”
He even appeared to support an exemption for upstate farmers bringing their produce to the city’s green markets.
“That’s a good example. The green markets have to be protected,” de Blasio said.
The carve out proposal infuriated Assemblyman Robert Carroll, who represents the Park Slope district, where de Blasio owns two homes. Carroll pointed out that congestion pricing without the carve outs would only raise $1 billion of the $1.6 billion needed by the MTA, something he told his once and future constituent he can’t do.
“I’m trying to help working people,” said de Blasio.
“Working New Yorkers take the subway,” Carroll said.
The mayor also said you could also raise other revenue from the MTA from internet taxes, a tax on marijuana, a millionaire’s tax, or a transportation bond issue.
The mayor also had good news for his “frenemy” Cuomo: He can take control of the MTA. Gubernatorial control of the MTA for Cuomo is like mayoral control of the school is for me, de Blasio said.
A spokesman for the governor said the pricing structure would be determined after discussions with the legislature, and once all the variables are analyzed.MORE NEWS: Connecticut Man Who Tested Positive For Omicron Variant Resting At Home With Mild Symptoms, Gov. Lamont Says
The governor wants to raise $15 billion for the MTA’s capital plan over ten years.