(Albany, NY) Last night the Democratic Conference accomplished what years of a Republican ruled Senate Majority could not accomplish. The Democratic Conference, under the leadership of Senator Malcolm A. Smith, has put the MTA on the right track by passing S.5451.
During the debate on this vital piece of legislation numerous members of the Republican Conference made reference to the fact that the MTA had been in a state of financial crisis for years. This indeed has been the case; the MTA has been barreling down the track of financial instability and lack of accountability for years. However, one needs to simply ask oneself who had been in charge during the years of the MTA’s continued fall into financial despair? Who had the duty and responsibility to protect the straphangers? Who had the power to save the MTA? The years of the MTA’s lack of transparency and accountability reflects an accumulation of inaction by the former majority.
Our conference stood unified in support of legislation to deal with our inherited mess. Our Conference, the Democratic Conference, has acted to combat failures of the past that have caused the MTA to be in a state of financial peril. Now, thanks to this essential piece of legislation, the MTA not only stands for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, but it also stands for More Transparency and Accountability.
With the passage of this legislation, the public is rescued from the draconian doomsday plan of steep fare increases and cuts to service. This is the right plan at the right time. And those who are most important of all, the straphangers, are spared massive fare increases and service cuts.