Freshman Staten Island Rep. Nicole Malliotakis introduced two new bills last week, focusing on government accountability and protecting her constituents from higher tolls.
In the “Protection Against Double Tolling Act,” the Republican lawmaker would require the feds to give a break to residents of Staten Island in the event New York City adopted a congestion-pricing plan.
The congresswoman said many of her constituents are already paying hefty tolls to get into other parts of New York City over the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge. The toll — which can be up to 19 bucks — is one of the highest in the nation.
“The amount of money we already pay to connect to the rest of the city would be credited for that congestion fee. That’s what the bill does,” Malliotakis told The Post.
The bill assumes that some from congestion pricing is likely coming to the five boroughs. In March President Biden’s Department of Transportation announced an Environmental Assessment for the project would go forward, providing a de facto green light from the feds.
“I’m not assuming it’s a done deal. But I am doing whatever I can to protect my constituents with the assumption that this could very well be happening in the future,” Malliotakis said.
In her other effort, the “Where’s Our Money Going Act,” Malliotakis said she wanted a public accounting of the trillions of dollars the federal government has spent on coronavirus relief efforts in 2020 and 2021.
Already critics in New York have accused Mayor de Blasio of blowing billions in federal stimulus cash on unsustainable big government projects in his final months in office.
“This is a good government bill and it’s about transparency and holding local municipalities accountable and it gives an opportunity for the public to take it out at the ballot box if they are not happy about how our elected officials are shepherding our tax dollars,” Malliotakis said.
Since coming to Congress, Malliotakis has kept herself busy. She’s also sponsored a bill that would prevent Black Lives Matter and other political flags from flying at US embassies and has joined bipartisan efforts to repeal the Trump-era cap on state and local tax deductions.
As with other efforts, her latest bills face an uphill climb for in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.
Metro | New York Post