ALBANY — Gov. Cuomo’s hope to impose a congestion-pricing plan to raise revenue for the beleaguered city subway system has hit a legislative roadblock — before he’s even proposed it.
Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-Suffolk County) said he does not believe a plan to charge motorists more to drive into congested parts of New York City will gain traction in his chamber.
Cuomo was expected to announce a congested-pricing plan in his Wednesday State of the State address, but he only made a passing reference to it while giving no specifics.
“No, not from what I’ve listened to,” Flanagan said when asked if he could support congestion pricing.
The GOP leader didn’t slam the door completely on the idea, however.
“We’ll always engage in conversations, but I also think it is very important to be guided by (the three New York City senators in his caucus),” Flanagan said. “Their input being from the city, obviously, is pertinent.”
Flanagan also opposes calls by Mayor de Blasio and others cool to the idea of congestion pricing to raise taxes on the wealthy to better fund the subways.
Cuomo in his State of the State said a panel he put together to come up with recommendations about subway funding will present its report soon and will include several options for the Legislature to consider.
“We will have new technology installed which will offer a variety of alternatives, defining an exclusive zone in Manhattan where additional charges could be paid,” Cuomo said. “These are difficult choices, but difficult choices do not get easier by ignoring them. They only get harder.”
He added that “funding must be provided in a very tight budget and funding must be provided this session because the riders have suffered for too long, politics has gone on for too long, and we can’t leave our riders stranded anymore — period.”