Source: nesnad via wikimedia commons

The fight over speed enforcement cameras is getting nastier. Last week, Mayor Michael Bloomberg personally called out State Senators Marty Golden, Simcha Felder and Dean Skelos for having blood on their hands in refusing to include funding for speed enforcement cameras in the state budget. In response, Senate Democrats are trying to reinvigorate the effort to get the cameras approved. However, in their recap of the week’s events, the New York Times included this interesting tidbit of closed door negotiations between Governor Andrew Cuomo, Bloomberg, Felder and Golden.

Senator Felder, too, has no use for cameras. He represents a district dominated by Orthodox Jewish voters, and his priority this session was to persuade the city and state to foot the bill to bus any child past 4 p.m., which in effect means mostly children who attend yeshivas. Mr. Felder and Mr. Golden succeeded in pushing through this legislation, which will cost the city $5.6 million this year.

As the state senators are not unreasonable men, they even offered to bargain: they might allow speed cameras if Mr. Bloomberg agreed to foot the bill for this busing program.

The mayor said no. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said no. But when his state budget emerged from behind closed doors in Albany it included this new and costly busing program.

The Orthodox, who are adroit at pulling the levers of power, and their political allies claim all children could benefit. But that argument is evidence-starved. The state paid for a pilot program this year, and city school buses have picked up 1,000 children — from 29 yeshivas and one charter school.

Senator Golden, who has charted the growth of the Orthodox population in his district, shrugs off criticism. It is, he said, “the new normal.”

So Golden and Felder would have been happy to approve the funding for speed enforcement cameras as long as yeshiva students who attend private Orthodox schools got free busing? Huh…so, using Golden and Felder’s logic, I guess this means that the safety of responsible motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians is less important than free transportation for private schools provided on the taxpayers’ dime.

It’s the “new normal” after all.

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  • syphiliticbrainofBloomberg

    Now, now – “The safety of responsible motorists” etc ad nauseaum ARE NOT Queen Bloomberg and his Reich Chairman Kelly’s concern – IT IS REVENUE! The Holy-men of corruption, NY’s politicians want their cut. They have mansions to buy, private charities to fund, why should Queen Bloomberg be the only one to play with revenue?

    Robbing Peter to payoff the rabbis and their connected bus companies! What eloquence in corruption. Separation of Church and State – HAHA

  • BrooklynBus

    Guess separation of Church and State doesn’t apply when the politicians don’t want it to apply. I’d like to know exactly what separation of Church and State supposed to mean.

    • sadfasdf

      Missed headline opportunity about the pork that GOP just provided the orthodox schools as not being kosher.

    • guest

      Theres no such thing anymore. Religion can get away with whatever it wants sadly.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

      Are the sessions longer because of the inclusion of religious content in the school curriculum? If so, there is definitely a question of implicit endorsement of one religion over a another. In such a circumstance this should be challenged in court.

  • Brightonresident

    Why should the Government pay for busses for private schools, especially for Yeshivahs!!!! ?

    • Ships at Bay – Brighton Bich

      Got your point on govt not paying for private schools. What’s up with your “especailly for Yeshivahs!!!! ?” comment? Catholic schools or parochial ones, would be okay by you, just not yeshivas?

  • Wells

    Sneaky Jews eh?

  • nolastname

    Well that really sucks. Is there not enough tax write-offs without burdening the system.

  • Subway Stinker

    Speed cameras, like their evil twin, The Red Light Camera, is just a way to make money. They do not save lives nor do they identify the miscreant or reprobate driving the offending car. Only the Owner of the auto gets the fine and violation. And what about the Camera industry making a fortune selling this spy-ware. If only Fedler and Golden hold out on principle and not sell out to a reglious constituency. Not likely, eh?

    • http://www.facebook.com/willie.simpson777 Willie Simpson

      It stinks all the way around Stinker.

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