By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
One of the New York State Assembly’s junior members is also one of its fastest rising political stars.
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-Bay Ridge-Staten Island) who recently won re-election to only her second term in the legislature, has been tapped to serve on the powerful Ways and Means Committee.
Bills involving all major expenditures in the state come before the Ways and Means Committee. The fact that Malliotakis will sit on that committee means that she will have a seat at the table when big money decisions are made regarding the state budget.
“Joining the committee on Ways and Means will allow me to bring a fiscally-responsible voice to the table when the state budget is crafted,” said Malliotakis, who was first elected to the assembly in 2010.
“Over the last two years we have made great strides reducing wasteful spending in order to revitalize New York’s economy, while supporting the programs and services our residents rely on most. Through my work with Ways and Means and my other committees, I am confident that the needs of our community will be heard loud and clear during this year’s legislative session,” she said.
Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb (R-Canandaigua) credited Malliotakis for her work ethic and said her bipartisan approach to government makes her well-qualified for her new assignment.
“In just two short years Assemblywoman Malliotakis has established herself as a dedicated, bipartisan representative who puts politics aside to deliver results for her constituents,” said Kolb.
Malliotakis has also been selected for the committees on Banks, Governmental Employees, Transportation and Corporations, Authorities and Commissions.
In another development, Malliotakis spoke out against the recent transit fare and bridge and tunnel toll hike increases voted on by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). The New York Daily News reported that the new fares will hit riders hard.
Malliotakis urged the MTA to put in a more equitable toll structure on bridges and tunnels. Malliotakis said she was particularly outraged by the new toll on the Verrazano Bridge, where the round-trip toll will rise to $15.00.
“We’re talking about the small business owner who has commercial vehicles that are not eligible for the (Staten Island) resident discount, making it more difficult to attract businesses to Staten Island. We’re talking about the guy who lives in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn and works in Woodbridge, New Jersey who now has to pay a $28 toll in cash or $21 with EZ-Pass each day just to get to work. Let’s go back to the drawing board to come up with a more equitable and fair solution,” Malliotakis said.