Truckers, lawmakers set to meet in New York on Thursday

| 5/21/2008

New York Gov. David Paterson announced this week that he has asked state DOT officials to develop a new policy to keep all large trucks off certain highways in the Finger Lakes region and effectively force them onto the New York State Thruway.

That could mean added miles and more money out of the pockets of truckers who operate in or through New York.

Some members of the New York Assembly are ready to help truckers and are willing to listen to public input on how to challenge what the governor has proposed.

A roundtable discussion for truckers and New York lawmakers is set for 2:30 p.m. Thursday, May 22, in Wilton, NY, at the Wilton Travel Plaza at Exit 16 on Interstate 87. Assemblyman Roy McDonald, R-Saratoga, is spearheading the meeting.

The high price of diesel and what can be done to help at the state level are on the agenda. Paterson’s plan to keep large trucks on the interstates and off certain back roads will also be discussed at the meeting.

Jim Thompson, chief of staff for McDonald said the assemblyman is spearheading the meeting because he understands the problems truckers are facing.

“The price of fuel is the No. 1 issue we are hearing about from our constituents,” Thompson told Land Line last week.

“We encourage anyone that is upset with diesel fuel prices, that doesn’t like the situation, to attend this rally to come up with solutions at the state level,” Thompson said.

He said other lawmakers planning to attend the roundtable meeting include New York Assemblyman George Amedore, R-Rotterdam; Assemblyman Peter Lopez, R-Schoharie; and state Sen. Elizabeth “Betty” Little, R-48th Dist. He said New York Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno has also been invited to attend the meeting.

Officials at the Missouri-based Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association reported that a number of its New York-based OOIDA members would be attending the roundtable meeting.

– By Land Line staff