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Albany lawmakers are considering a last-minute backroom measure to address the financial hole in the MTA’s capital plan caused by Governor Kathy Hochul’s decision to eliminate congestion pricing tolls. This bill would provide the MTA with a form of IOU to cover the $1 billion in expected congestion pricing revenue for each of the next 15 years. State lawmakers are currently discussing the details of the bill and are expected to vote on it during the day.

Lawmakers are expressing frustration with Hochul for scrapping the toll without a replacement plan, leading to uncertainty about the MTA’s financial stability. State Senate Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris expressed concern about the risk to the MTA capital plan due to the lack of revenue. Hochul’s initial proposal to increase the payroll mobility tax faced backlash from lawmakers and the business community. This proposal was abandoned, and lawmakers are working with Hochul and the MTA to find an alternative solution.

The decision to eliminate congestion pricing tolls has put pressure on lawmakers to find a way to fund the MTA’s capital plan and ensure the agency’s financial health. Hochul’s unexpected announcement has created uncertainty and forced lawmakers to come up with a viable solution quickly. Lawmakers are now working with Hochul and the MTA to develop a plan that will support the projects slated to receive capital funds and maintain the MTA’s financial stability.

Lawmakers are still uncertain about the level of support for the “IOU” measure in both houses, with some already indicating they plan to vote against it. The bill is seen as a temporary solution to fill the financial gap created by the elimination of congestion pricing tolls. Lawmakers are under pressure to find a long-term funding solution for the MTA’s capital plan to ensure the agency can continue its projects and operations. The decision to scrap the tolls has led to a scramble among lawmakers to address the financial implications and future funding of the MTA.

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