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Gov. Kathy Hochul's congestion pricing delay to face legal challenge, sources say

Sources say legal challenge coming to congestion pricing pause
Sources say legal challenge coming to congestion pricing pause 01:31

NEW YORK -- Gov. Kathy Hochul's pause on congestion pricing will face a legal challenge from New York City Comptroller Brad Lander and various advocates, highly placed sources tell CBS New York's Marcia Kramer.

An official announcement from Lander is expected Wednesday.

"They are going to try to argue legislative precedent. They are going to argue the sanctity of the funding of the MTA and also the violation of the state's commitment to zero carbon footprints," Kean University Provost David Birdsell said.

Birdsell said the court may also examine the governor's authority to stop the program.

"The argument from the environmentalist advocates, people who support congestion pricing, is that this was so difficult to get of the finish line to begin with that putting it back to square one is effectively killing it or putting it into a multi-year holding pattern," Birdsell said.

Hochul stunned everyone with last week's announcement

The governor paused the years-in-the-making congestion pricing plan less than a month before it was set to take effect.

"After careful consideration, I have come to the difficult decision that implementing the planned congestion pricing system risks too many unintended consequences for New Yorkers at this time. For that reason, I have directed the MTA to indefinitely pause the program," Hochul said in her announcement.

Hochul pointed to the fact that congestion pricing was enacted prior to the COVID pandemic, when most people worked at their offices five days a week. She cited concerns about New York City's economic recovery in the wake of the pandemic as part of the reason for her putting a pause on the program.

The pause effectively crippled the MTA's ability to move forward with needed projects like upgrading the subway signal system and extending the Second Avenue subway which were relying on congestion pricing to help raise the needed funds. The MTA was hoping congestion pricing would help it raise $15 billion to pay for the various initiatives. Last Friday, New York's legislative session ended without a plan to fund those critical projects

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