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Thursday, December 9, 2021

In Rebuke to Cuomo, Lawmakers Balk at His Plans for M.T.A. Management

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The longer term management of the nation’s largest transit system, together with the nomination of the primary lady to carry the highest job, was unexpectedly forged into doubt by state lawmakers on Wednesday.

Leaders of the Democratic-controlled State Senate indicated that they’d not vote on a proposal by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo that may place Sarah Feinberg, an in depth ally of Mr. Cuomo’s, to change into the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s subsequent chairwoman.

The transfer was the newest rebuke of Mr. Cuomo by members of his personal celebration because the governor tries to navigate a number of crises and overlapping investigations which have left him politically weakened.

The governor had nominated Ms. Feinberg, 42, on Tuesday to succeed Patrick J. Foye, the chairman and chief government officer of the authority, which runs New York Metropolis’s subway and buses and two commuter practice traces.

Mr. Cuomo’s plan was to have Ms. Feinberg share what have been Mr. Foye’s duties with Janno Lieber, who would oversee the transit system day-to-day operations because the authority’s chief government.

However splitting the job that approach required legislative approval that may have given Mr. Cuomo even larger management of an company over which he already holds tight reins.

As at present structured, the mixed roles require Senate affirmation, however beneath Mr. Cuomo’s proposal, he and future governors would have sole authority to nominate the chief government. The authority’s chair would nonetheless have wanted Senate affirmation.

Critics of the governor’s transfer, together with Richard Ravitch, a former authority chairman, noticed it as an try to institutionalize his energy over the M.T.A.

The 2 roles have been held by completely different individuals prior to now, however a 2008 fee led by Mr. Ravitch helped spur laws that reunited the roles right into a single job as a part of an effort to revive the chief government’s independence.

The proposal was launched within the Legislature this week, the final week of this yr’s legislative session. However when Senate Democrats met to debate it on Tuesday, it rapidly turned clear there was not sufficient assist for the invoice, mentioned Michael Gianaris, a Democrat and the Senate’s deputy majority chief.

“The governor is trying a restructuring of the highest echelon of the M.T.A. with little or no discover and in such a approach that the members of the Senate aren’t comfy,” Mr. Gianaris mentioned. “The notion that we have been going to rubber stamp an effort to have even much less oversight and extra consolidation of energy within the government isn’t one thing we’re desirous about.”

Mr. Gianaris mentioned that lawmakers had raised considerations in regards to the construction of the invoice and its timing and even about Ms. Feinberg herself. Mr. Gianaris mentioned that she “had continuously taken to the rostrum to echo the governor’s assaults and that sort of politicization isn’t one thing we’re desirous about.”

He added, “The thought of dropping one thing like that on the eleventh hour anticipating us to rubber stamp it’s a large miscalculation.”

Neither the M.T.A. or Mr. Cuomo’s workplace responded instantly to requests for remark.

It was unclear whether or not the Meeting, the place Democrats additionally maintain the bulk, would transfer to vote on the invoice.

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