Congestion Pricing, Budget Approved By New York State

The budget is a done deal in Albany, with a number of new initiatives including congestion pricing.

Lawmakers have agreed to toll drivers traveling south of 60th Street to pay for subway improvements. Many of the specifics still need to be determined, including the exact cost for drivers.

There will be a number of exemptions, including for low income New Yorkers, emergency vehicles and people who live within the area.There also won’t be tolls on the West Side Highway and FDR Drive.

The budget also includes a statewide ban on plastic bags and an option for counties to charge a 5-cen fee on paper bags. The state also made a 2-percent property tax cap permanent and is eliminating cash bail.

“Plastic bag ban, which I am very excited about, this is long overdue, you drive through urban areas in this state and you see plastic bags hanging from trees like some bizarre Christmas ornaments. You see in waterways all across this state, plastic bags. I've been fishing 40 miles out in the ocean and you see a parade of these plastic bags just floating by,” Cuomo said.

The budget doesn’t include the legalization of recreational marijuana, but Governor Cuomo promised to keep fighting for it.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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