NY Governor vetoed bill that would allow toll-free travel

The governor says that the state cannot afford the financial loss.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has vetoed a bill that would have allowed for toll-free travel on parts of the Thruway in the Syracuse area, according to CNY Central.

In June, the bill passed the state Senate and Assembly but only lasted until Monday when Democratic Governor Cuomo vetoed the bill.

The bill was cosponsored by Republican Senator John DeFrancisco. This bill was designed to ease congestion on other routes by incentivizing toll-free travel on Interstate 90. DeFrancisco believed that this bill would not only save drivers money but also improve the safety of the road.

On the contrary, Governor Cuomo stated in his veto memo that the bill hurts the Thruway Authority’s ability to collect tolls and would lead to other areas along the Thruway to seek similar reductions. Focusing on the monetary benefit of collecting toll fees, Governor Cuomo plans to address this issue during state budget negotiations so the cost of the bill can be accounted for.

He says, “Prohibiting the Authority from collecting tolls at these 5 exits would result in a significant fiscal loss that is not accounted for in the State’s financial plan and must, therefore, be addressed in the context of the annual State budget negotiation. For these reasons, I am constrained to veto this bill.

A portion of the veto memo reads:

If this veto was not put in place drivers would have been able to commute between Thruway exits 34A, which is the Interstate 481 interchange, and exit 39, at the 690 interchange, at no cost. The only fee would have been for the initial permit.