Sunday, August 26, 2012

$600M NYC Budget Deficit From Failed Taxi Plan

What are New York City Council Christine Quinn's ties to the taxi industry lobbyist, Emily Giske ?

When it was announced in June, the Bloomberg-Quinn budget plan to balance the New York City budget relied on $635 million in revenue from the expected sale of new yellow taxi medallions, The New York Daily News reported.

But now comes Dana Rubinstein from Capital New York, with a shocking inside story about the $600 million budget meltdown over the failed taxi plan : /p>

On August 22, 2012, Speaker Christine Quinn "dodged a barrage of questions about the mayor's stalled outer-borough taxi plan, what role she has played in its failure, and what role she plans to play in repairing the subsequent budgetary damage."

By all accounts, the [state] legislature told the mayor's office that no home rule request was necessary. Nevertheless his staff and the speaker negotiated for months to reach some sort of agreement. It remains unclear why they were unable to, and Quinn told me in an interview that she couldn't say why the administration chose to go around the Council, in effect, by going straight to Albany."

Ms. Rubinstein goes on to point out that :

Quinn has never publicly expressed support for the mayor's plan. Nor has she publicly derided it.

The speaker, who's running for mayor next year, has a habit of avoiding politically touchy subjects, though she did recently express some muted displeasure with the judge's decision, since, among other things, it leaves a gap of more than $600 million in this year's budget.

Speaker Quinn has close ties with the powerful lobbyist Emily Giske, whose firm inteferes with government policy on behalf of special interest groups, such as the taxi industry.

Related : Quinn's Friendship With Taxi Lobbyist May Pose Test in Mayor Bid (NYT)

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