There’s a new front in the battle over Metropolitan Transportation Authority money: Speed cameras. Gov. Cuomo’s budget proposal gives New York City its long-sought authority to expand the use of speed cameras in school zones, but with a catch – all the money must go to the MTA. Mayor de Blasio says the city needs the revenue for continued enforcement of traffic laws.

The revenue from camera tickets currently goes into the city’s general fund, helping fund the behemoth city budget. The Mayor added that the cameras aren’t about revenue: “Until we reach that nirvana [where people stop speeding in school zones], we’re going to be having to do a lot of enforcement. It costs a lot of money. It’s to save lives. It’s to keep everything moving.”

“Given the urgent need to provide substantial additional funding to the MTA, we made a strategic decision to tie these critical measures together to ensure the legislature does not dismiss them out of hand,” Robert Mujica, state budget director, said. “The governor has been clear the MTA needs more funding, not less.”

The camera conflict is the latest saga in the back-and-forth between Cuomo and de Blasio over funding for the MTA. Cuomo, who appoints the head of the state authority and a plurality of its board members, has insisted that New York City should pay half the cost of a pricey plan to fix the subways. De Blasio has argued the city can’t afford it and that it’s the state’s responsibility.

Source: Daily News

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