Groups Assail Nullification of Transit Lock Box Bill

December 8, 2011

Amalgamated Transit Union, Citizens Committee for NYC, Common Cause/ NY,
General Contractors Association
, League of Women Voters of NY State, 
Natural Resources Defense Council, NYS Council of Machinists, 
NY League of Conservation Voters, Reinvent Albany, Straphangers Campaign NYPIRG,
Transportation Alternatives, Tri-State Transportation Campaign,
TWU Local 100

STATEMENT ON NULLIFICATION OF “TRANSIT LOCK BOX” LEGISLATION

December 8, 2011

Our groups are disappointed that Governor Cuomo, Senate Majority leader Skelos and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver used this special session to effectively nullify the provisions of the transit “lock box” bill that was overwhelmingly passed during the regular session. We thank State Senator Marty Golden and Assembly member Jim Brennan for their leadership sponsoring the original bill.

The original legislation made it more difficult for the governor to unilaterally divert MTA dedicated transit funds, and required an impact statement detailing the effects on transit service if dedicated funds were taken. The “lockbox” bill (S.4257C/A. 6766C) was a reaction to the diversion of $260 million in dedicated transit funds over the last three years. These diversions contributed to the worst metropolitan-area transit service cuts in memory.

We do not support the substitute legislation passed in this special session. It does not constrain future raids on transit funds, and deletes the requirement that the impacts of the diversion of transit dedicated funds be reported.

The strong principle of the original legislation – that MTA dedicated transit funds should be spent on transit, attracted a wide range of supporters, listed below, and editorial endorsements from the New York Times and Crain’s.

Groups endorsing the now nullified “Transit Lockbox” Bill

Amalgamated Transit Union, ATU Local 726, ATU Local 1056, ATU Local 1179 ATU Local 1181-1061, American Council of Engineering Companies of New York Asian Americans for Equality, Center for Working Families, Citizens Committee for NYC, Common Cause/NY, Construction Industry Council, CUNY Institute for Urban Systems, DC 37, DC 37 Local 375B, DC37 Local 1655, Empire State Transportation Alliance, Environmental Defense Fund, General Contractors Association of New York, League of Women Voters of the City of NY, League of Women Voters of New York State, Long Island Contractors’ Association, Inc. (LICA), MTA Coalition of Unions, National Conference of Firemen and Oilers, New York Building Congress, NY League of Conservation Voters, NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign, NYS Council of Machinists, NY State Legislative Conference Board, NYS Transportation Equity Alliance, PCAC to MTA, Pratt Center for Community Development, Regional Plan Association, Reinvent Albany, Teamsters Local 808, Transit Riders Action Committee, Transportation Alternatives, TWU Local 100, TWU Local 252, TWU Local2001, TWU Local 2054, Transport Workers International Union of America, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, UPROSE, We Act for Environmental Justice, Women’s City Club.