Sheldon Silver and the Assembly Kill Congestion Pricing

040708 silver web Sheldon Silver and the Assembly Kill Congestion PricingCongestion pricing is dead in the Assembly.

“Shelly just came out of our conference and said our conference does not have the support to bring this to the floor,” said Democratic Assemblyman Mark Weprin.

“I want to be clear that the conference was overwhelmingly against it,” he said, dispelling the notion that Silver, personally, blocked the plan. Weprin, who opposed the plan, said the program’s biggest supporter, Michael Bloomberg, should not be blamed for the failure, but rather, commended for making it an issue.

“If it wasn’t for this mayor, it would have been dead a year ago,” Weprin said. “It’s because of the mayor it had any life at all.”

Silver’s announcement that the lack of support will prevent the bill from even being voted on is, strategically, a major blow to Bloomberg and congestion pricing supporters, who were counting on a public vote. With a vote, there would at least have been more than one person to blame for the bill’s demise, and countless legislators who could have been targeted in upcoming elections (like John Sabini, Marty Connor, Kevin Parker, Frank Padavan, and Serph Maltese, all of whom have notable re-election challengers this year).