Transit Lockbox Still Alive, Under Threat From GOP Assembly Members

Though the state legislature was expected to work well into the morning last night, dealing with major priorities like rent regulation and gay marriage in addition to lower-profile but still-important bills like the transit funding lockbox, the negotiated deals fell apart and the legislature put off all its business until this morning. The path to passage for any of those bills is a little less obvious than it was a day ago, but the lockbox still has a good chance of making it through the State Assembly.

The lockbox already passed the State Senate, where it was sponsored by Brooklyn Republican Marty Golden, and the powerful Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver announced his support for the bill last night.

The bill should be on the Ways and Means Committee agenda this morning, said Lorrie Smith, the legislative director for lockbox sponsor James Brennan. “If Silver’s supporting it, then it should be on that agenda,” said Smith. The Ways and Means agenda has not been released yet, however. “We’re in kind of a holding pattern since late last evening,” Smith said.

There is still room on the calendar to pass the lockbox, said Smith, even as the time remaining in the session continues to tick away. If Assembly Republicans do decide to delay the bill with a fight over the payroll tax, as Silver’s office was worried about last night, however, that could complicate matters. “If that were to come about, it would be a problem,” admitted Smith.

“We have to hope that Senator Golden will ask them to let this go through,” said Smith. Streetsblog has a call in with Golden’s office to see if he’s communicated the importance of the lockbox legislation to his Republican colleagues in the Assembly.