A controversial bill that removes statewide restrictions on e-bikes and e-scooters has gotten caught in Albany gridlock — over a political spat between the bill’s sponsor and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, sources told The Post.
The bill — which would give local jurisdictions like New York City the right to legalize the juiced-up rides if they so choose — passed the legislature in June, but has gone nowhere fast since with Cuomo refusing to sign it into law over what he says are safety concerns.
But a source familiar with the negotiations said the governor was on board until the bill’s sponsor, state Sen. Jessica Ramos (D-Queens), dinged him to The New York Times in October over his push to double the threshold for the state’s minor political parties to keep a line on the ballot come Election Day.
“I honestly have never understood why it is that, electorally, the governor cannot seem and act as interested as we are in having as many Democrats in the State Legislature as possible,” Ramos, who was backed by the state’s Working Families Party, told The Times.
That remark got under Cuomo’s skin and has stayed there since, to the detriment of the e-bike and e-scooter bill, one insider told The Post.
“Positive conversations were happening until politics got in the way,” said the source. “Since then, everything is on the table. Talks are now in purgatory and it’s really frustrating.”
The bill will die if Cuomo doesn’t put his name to it by the end of the year.
Neither side admitted on Sunday to any bad blood — but couldn’t even agree on whether they’d been talking about the bill.
“As far as our office is concerned, the relevant parties are still discussing the bill,” said Ramos. “We expect to see amendments soon and continue to hope that we’ll get this very important bill passed.”
But a Cuomo spokeswoman denied that any talks had taken place.
“We are not sure why people are lying, but there have been no negotiations with the legislature on this bill since June when we raised very significant safety and operational concerns as well as technical errors riddled throughout,” said the rep.
Even if Cuomo does sign the bill in time, the city would still have to legalize electrified rides.
Pedal-assist e-bikes — which get a jolt only when also receiving pedal-power — are already legal in the city, but the speedier throttle-controlled e-bikes popular with food delivery riders are not.
Advocates claimed at a Friday rally in Brooklyn that the Albany delay hasn’t helped their cause.
“I feel disappointed. Luckily the bill was passed six months ago, but now the governor hasn’t signed it,” said retired delivery worker Jinhua Li at the event. “E-bikes are a survival tool for us to survive in New York.”
Additional reporting by Anabel Sosa