The House of Representatives Friday authorized $1.75 billion from left-over Sept. 11 funds to go towards the JFK Rail Link, according to a statement from Gov. Pataki’s office. The amount falls short of the $2 billion that Gov. Pataki and other downtown boosters were seeking, but it does reflect progress: the Senate earlier authorized the conversion of these funds (they were originally supposed to be tax credits to encourage downtown businesses to hire more workers) but did not specify how much they were worth. The amendment will go back to the Senate now, and because it is attached to a controversial estate tax bill, its fate is uncertain.
Notably, in his statement announcing the vote, Gov. Pataki singled out Rep. Tom Reynolds, an upstate Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, for praise. We’ve already noted how much money Reynolds has received from Lower Manhattan property owners.)