Bill S668-2011

Requires the board of elections to provide a registered voter with a sample ballot via mail

Requires the board of elections to provide a registered voter with a sample ballot not less than ten days nor more than twenty days before an election via mail.

Details

Actions

  • Mar 12, 2012: COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
  • Mar 8, 2012: NOTICE OF COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION - REQUESTED
  • Jan 4, 2012: REFERRED TO ELECTIONS
  • Jan 5, 2011: REFERRED TO ELECTIONS

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S668

TITLE OF BILL:

An act to amend chapter 154 of the laws of 1921 relating to the port of New York authority, in relation to the imposition of tolls for certain bridges and tunnels

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:

This legislation amends the Public Authorities Law by prohibiting an increase in the toll charge and fares on all bridges, tunnels and transit authorities operated by the Authority unless the increases are utilized for transportation related programs and improvements.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 of the bill amends chapter 154 of the laws of 1921 relating to the port of New York authority, by adding a new section 1-a which states that no toll may be increased over an authority bridge or tunnel after December 1, 2014, unless the increase is utilized solely for the improvement, reconstruction or maintenance of the authority's transportation relation facilities.

Section 2 provides that the act will take effect upon the enactment into law by the state of New Jersey of legislation having an identical effect with this act, but if the state of New Jersey has already enacted such legislation, this at shall take effect immediately.

JUSTIFICATION:

On August 19, 2011, the Port Authority Board of Commissioners, with the approval of the Governors of New York and New Jersey adopted a toll increase of $1.50 in September 2011 and 75 cents per year, every year thereafter, from 2012-2015 for E-ZPass holders. An additional $2 penalty on top of increased tolls was implemented for cash toll payers.

These toll increases will bring the rush-hour cash tolls to $15 by 2015. While the Authority failed to publicly disclose a detailed Capital Expenditure Plan, it has issued press releases stating that substantial toll increases are needed because of its escalating real estate development expenses at the World Trade Center.

These unprecedented toll hikes, and diversion of toll revenue to non-transportation projects come at a time when our region's roads and bridges are deteriorating. In fact, every bridge owned and operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is rated as "functionally obsolete" by the Federal Highway Administration.

Accordingly, this legislation intends to ensure that tolls on the busiest interstate facilities in the Northeast corridor are not diverted to unrelated and speculative real estate projects. Indeed, the federal Bridge Act requires bridge tolls to be "just and reasonable" (33 U.S.C. §508) and the federal courts have consistently interpreted that to require that increases to interstate tolls be used only for facilities that have functional relationships to those bridges. See Automobile Club of New York, Inc. v Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, 887 F.2d 417 (2d Cir. 1989).

Consequently, this legislation, by codifying the 1989 decision of the Federal Court of Appeals, will ensure that the Authority maintains its core mission of reconstructing and improving critical infrastructure rather than forcing travelers using interstate bridges and tunnels to pay exorbitant and unreasonable toll rates to subsidize costly and speculative office redevelopment projects.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2011-12: S.6011

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:

To be determined.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act will take effect upon the enactment into law by the state of New Jersey of legislation having an identical effect with this act, but if the state of New Jersey has already enacted such legislation, this act shall take effect immediately.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 668 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 5, 2011 ___________
Introduced by Sen. PERALTA -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Elections AN ACT to amend the election law, in relation to requiring the board of elections to provide a registered voter with a sample ballot prior to an election THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 4-117 of the election law is amended by adding a new subdivision 1-a to read as follows: 1-A. THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS, NOT LESS THAN TEN DAYS NOR MORE THAN TWENTY DAYS BEFORE THE DAY OF THE GENERAL ELECTION IN EACH YEAR, SHALL SEND BY FIRST CLASS MAIL ON WHICH IS ENDORSED "ADDRESS CORRECTION REQUESTED" AND WHICH CONTAINS A REQUEST THAT ANY SUCH MAIL RECEIVED FOR PERSONS NOT RESIDING AT THE ADDRESS BE DROPPED BACK IN THE MAIL, A SAMPLE BALLOT, AS REQUIRED PURSUANT TO SECTION 7-118 OF THIS CHAPTER, IN A FORM APPROVED BY THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS, TO EVERY REGISTERED VOTER WHO HAS BEEN REGISTERED WITHOUT A CHANGE OF ADDRESS SINCE THE BEGINNING OF SUCH YEAR. THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS SHALL NOT BE REQUIRED TO SEND SUCH SAMPLE BALLOT TO VOTERS IN INACTIVE STATUS. IN LIEU OF SEND- ING SUCH COMMUNICATION WITH SUCH SAMPLE BALLOT TO EVERY REGISTERED VOTER, THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS MAY SEND A SINGLE COMMUNICATION TO A HOUSEHOLD CONTAINING MORE THAN ONE REGISTERED VOTER, PROVIDED THAT THE NAMES OF ALL SUCH VOTERS APPEAR AS PART OF THE ADDRESS ON SUCH COMMUNI- CATION. S 2. Section 7-118 of the election law, as amended by chapter 157 of the laws of 1996, is amended to read as follows: S 7-118. Ballots; facsimile and sample. The board of elections shall provide facsimile and sample ballots which shall be arranged in the form of a diagram showing such part of the face of the voting machine as shall be in use at that election. Such facsimile and sample ballots
shall be either in full or reduced size and shall contain suitable illustrated directions for voting on the voting machine. Such facsimile ballots shall be mounted and displayed for public inspection at each polling place during election day. Sample ballots [may] SHALL be mailed by the board of elections to each eligible voter [at least three days] NOT LESS THAN TEN DAYS NOR MORE THAN TWENTY DAYS before the election[, or in lieu thereof, a copy of such sample ballot may be published at least once within one week preceding the election in newspapers repres- enting the major political parties]. One copy of such facsimile shall be sent to each school in the county, providing the ninth through the twelfth years of compulsory education, and in the city of New York to each such school in the city of New York, at least one week before each general election for posting at a convenient place in such school. The board of elections shall also send a facsimile ballot to any other school requesting such a ballot. S 3. This act shall take effect on the first of December next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law.

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