Senator Saland Legislation Gives More Voting Power To Hudson Valley In Metro-north Matters

Stephen M. Saland

March 08, 2006

Senator Steve Saland (R,C Poughkeepsie) today announced passage of his legislation that would give Mid-Hudson voting members of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Board more flexibility in voting with regard to transportation issues that impact the region’s commuters.

Currently, members of the MTA board representing Dutchess, Putnam, Orange and Rockland counties are each given a one-quarter vote which may only be cast and counted toward the total if more than one member of the four counties is present.

"With the passage of this legislation, Hudson Valley commuters will have greater representation regarding issues that directly impact their lives," said Senator Saland. "This measure, which reflects the preference of the Mid-Hudson members representing Metro-North, will change the vote from a unanimous to a majority agreement, thereby improving the democratic process for decision making."

Senator Saland’s legislation would change this to allow for a member to cast a collective vote on behalf of the four counties if one or more of the members is present. Additionally, it will change the vote from a unanimous agreement to a majority agreement when more than one of the collective members is present.

"I applaud Senator Saland’s efforts in improving the representation of Metro-North commuters in MTA voting matters," said James Sedore, Duchess County representative for the MTA board. "There have been instances where I could not vote at a meeting unless there was another member from our delegation present. This legislation will improve the voting process and give Hudson Valley commuters a greater voice at the MTA table."

The legislation has passed both houses of the Legislature and will be sent to the Goveror.