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The following is a press release from the office of Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis:

MALLIOTAKIS, CAPPELLI, TRANSIT WORKERS SLAM IRRESPONSIBLE MTA BUDGET

Agency’s capital plan repeats mistakes of old

Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C-Brooklyn, Staten Island) today held a press conference with Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Board Member Allen Cappelli, and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 726 President Dan Cassella, slamming the MTA’s 2012 Capital Plan. The budget continues to borrow by replacing old debt with new debt, while committing the newly-generated revenue to extraneous, new projects. In addition, the board approved a $12 billion expense plan that does not include any money to restore service cuts that have plagued the community in recent years.

“This spending plan is more of the same irresponsibility and lack of accountability from the MTA,” said Malliotakis. “Rather than examining the viability of new projects like the 2nd Avenue Subway, or the East Side Tunnel, the MTA just keeps kicking the can down the road and borrowing more and more money to fund unnecessary projects, while our community suffers. I would hope that, under new leadership, the agency would tighten its belt and learn how to prioritize. Instead, the toll-paying residents of Brooklyn and Staten Island are left to foot the bill in exchange for decreased and sub-par service yet again. I commend Allen Cappelli for being the only MTA board member independent enough to cast the sole vote against this outrageous plan.”

Cappelli said, “By adopting a plan that incurs this much additional debt, the MTA is putting services at risk, and is creating the likelihood that severe fare hikes and toll increases will be needed to pay the debt service.”

“It doesn’t come as a surprise that the MTA Executive Board has again chosen to go down the road to fiscal disaster in approval of the new capital budget that was passed on Wednesday December 21,” said Cassella. “After years of treating the riding public as a cash cow for an excessive and over ambitious capital plan that has proven over and over again to be nothing but a growing debt load that will inevitably result in further cuts to service. When will the MTA Executive Board recognize that the riding public is tired of being the brunt of budgets that are passed at the last minute without the proper public scrutiny. This has to end! Stop the irresponsible behavior and restore the service cuts already made and pass a reasonable capital budget that will not push our transit system over the edge. Our buses and trains are packed like cattle cars during rush hour. It’s time for some changes in the way the MTA Executive Board does business.”

 For more information on the MTA’s budget, please visit http://www.mta.info/mta/budget/. To join the assemblywoman’s fight for bus restorations, sign the petition at http://www.givememybusback.com/.

 Attached photo: Assemblywoman Malliotakis joins Amalgamated Transit Union Local 726 President Dan Cassella (inset, left), MTA Board Member Allen Cappelli (far right) and members of ATU at Wednesday’s press conference.

State Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis represents Assembly District 60, which includes parts of Eastern Staten Island and Bay Ridge.

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