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Silver Urges Cuomo To Sign Street Hail Bill

12/12/2011

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is urging Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign off on a bill thaimaget would legalize  livery cab street hails in Upper Manhattan and the other four boroughs.

Speaking with NY1’s “Inside City Hall” earlier today, Silver says he wants the governor to sign the taxi bill to make sure the city receives $1 billion in revenue that comes along with it.

The money would come from the addition of 1,500 new yellow cab medallions, 569 of which will be handicapped accessible.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been one of the biggest supporters of the legislation.

Silver says that if Cuomo signs it, he would be willing to revise the bill to satisfy the concerns of advocates who want the new cabs to be accessible to the handicapped.

“Cooler heads should prevail and we should come up with an agreed upon chapter amendment to the bill,” Silver said. “The governor should sign the bill with the commitment that we will pass a bill in January. I don’t want to be part of teachers getting laid off, police officers getting laid off as a result of the city not getting the revenue that would come from that bill, without raising any taxes.”

The livery cab bill was given to Governor Cuomo on Friday.

He now has 10 business days to decide whether he will sign it.

The governor today said he hopes an agreement on the legislation can be reached in the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, hundreds of livery drivers and advocates are rallying today as part of a 10-day protest outside Cuomo’s Manhattan office, urging him to sign the bill.

Drivers and car service owners gathered outside the office yesterday.

They say the bill would protect drivers’ lives and livelihoods.

“There are 150,000 illegal pickups every single day in our communities. This bill will legitimize and legalize that so that we can provide safe and reliable service to the people in the outer boroughs,” said Cira Angeles of the New York State Association of Independent Taxi Drivers.

“This is my job but this last year I have been getting about $3,500 in tickets. That is $3,500 I can’t use to buy my son Christmas gifts,” said livery driver Andry Carmona.

http://www.ny1.com/content/news_beats/political_news/152365/silver-urges-cuomo-to-sign-street-hail-bill

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