Paterson Still Coy on His M.T.A. Plan; Discussions Continue

ALBANY—Speaking at an event this morning in the Bronx, David Paterson continued to be coy about his secret plan to

ALBANY—Speaking at an event this morning in the Bronx, David Paterson continued to be coy about his secret plan to provide money to bail out the M.T.A..

"I'd like for the leaders to get a chance to talk to their members about a suggestion I made to Speaker Silver and Senator Smith about what I think might actually be amenable to the members who are still uncomfortable with the legislation as it is," Paterson said to reporters. "They are reviewing it with their members. If it passes muster, we'll make sure you know about it soon enough and hopefully vote on it when we get back, and I would like the day to be Monday."

That might be hard, given the abbreviated session.

From what I gather talking with people who have heard details of what Paterson has up his sleeve, it will not differ significantly from what Senate Majority Malcolm Smith has put forward in his own bill to help the authority. It includes a provision to make the payroll tax more palatable to suburban lawmakers who had baulked over that measure; one source said it would eventually rebate the payroll tax monies paid by school districts. The plan would also halve the proposed taxi surcharge, which has received a cold reception from Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Michael Bloomberg.

It's unclear whether Paterson's plan will have the 32 votes needed to pass in the State Senate, where action on the M.T.A. (and other issues) has been stuck.

Both Smith and Paterson are hoping for a political win on the M.T.A. issue, so watch to see who presents the final deal and how both leaders attempt to spin it.

Discussions are expected to continue through the weekend. Paterson Still Coy on His M.T.A. Plan; Discussions Continue