State Senate Meets on M.T.A..; Soda Tax Floated, Still Unlikely

ALBANY—State senators are meeting in conference now to discuss possible plans to bridge the M.T.A.'s deficit, and to decide if they will move a bill on the subject today.

"There's a lot of stuff on the table," State Senator Diane Savino told me by phone, briefly, before ducking in. I asked whether the tax on non-diet sodas—reported this morning as back from the dead—is being considered as a funding source. "I heard it was floated," she said, "but I don't think so."

Austin Shafran, a spokesman for Majority Leader Malcolm Smith, just shook his head when asked. He said members will meet after their session, and a briefing is scheduled for 5 p.m.

Senate sources say that a gas tax is a likely component of the final plan, as is some form of a payroll tax, with exemptions for schools. It's unclear whether there will be the needed 32 votes, from either Democrats or Republicans, to pass the measure. State Senate Meets on M.T.A..; Soda Tax Floated, Still Unlikely