MTA chairman grilled by lawmakers on agency's finances

Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman and CEO Jay Walder was questioned today by state lawmakers about his agency's alleged failure to get its finances in order.State

WOODBURY - Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman and CEO Jay Walder was questioned today by state lawmakers about his agency's alleged failure to get its finances in order.State Sen. Carl Marcellino (R-Oyster Bay) says the state's largest authority is losing billions every year. "I don't want them to make a profit, they are a state entity, but we shouldn't be hemorrhaging either," Marcellino says. Testifying at a hearing today, Walder said the MTA's losses have a lot to do with the funds the state has taken away from it. Walder said the cuts had nearly derailed the MTA's budget, leaving the authority almost $1 billion short in 2010 and forcing it to slash staff and overtime to make up for about half the shortfall. "We are committed to making every dollar count and we know every dollar we receive is a hard-earned dollar," Walder said. The MTA chairman said the agency is looking at $3.8 billion in savings over the next four years, but state Sen. Marcellino pointed out that's still not enough for the MTA to break even.

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