State Thruway Authority Executive Director Tom Madison released a plan today that he said would avert a 45 percent toll hike on commercial vehicles that will also satisify bond-rating agencies and bond holders.

The proposals including cutting $900 million in risky short-term debt, eliminating roughly 6 percent of the authority’s workforce and cutting the operations budget of the authority by 21 percent in 2013.

Madison said that no decision had been made on the Canal Corp., but that their may be a “joint management” by another entity in the future. He would not say whether that means the Canal Corp. would be spun off onto a different agency or privitizied.

Authority officials said the plan will prevent a toll hike on heavy trucks and commercial vehicles, a proposal that for months the authority had delayed votes on after an outcry from the state’s business community.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who appeared alongside Madison at a news conference in the governor’s ceremonial office in the Capitol, had stressed that the authority should avoid a toll hike, but also develop a plan that keeps its “high A” bond rating.

A lowering of the bond rating for the authority would result in less favorable borrowing schemes that could cost drivers more in tolls.

Already the plan had drawn praise from the state’s business groups.

“We are very pleased that the Thruway Authority has withdrawn its ill-advised 45 percent truck toll hike,” said Brian Sampson, the executive director of the Rochester-based Unshackle Upstate, in a statement. “Had it gone through, it would have done tremendous damage to the Upstate economy. We commend Governor Cuomo for his leadership on this important issue. His position on the proposed toll increase – that it should only be a last resort – sent a strong message to the Authority and its leadership about what it needs to do to ensure that New York is seen as a place where businesses can invest and grow. This is another step in helping to make New York more open for business.”

Madison said at the news conference that credit rating agencies have been briefed general outline of the plan, with more details to come in January.

“There have been discussions with the credit-rating agencies who have received the plan favorably,” Madison said.

He described the plan as one that’s been in the works for several months as a way to control the authority’s famously shaky finances.

The announcement was made in tandem with expectation that the authority’s board would approve a design for the new Tappan Zee Bridge later this afternoon.

Cuomo at the news conference praised the plan.

“What the Thruway Authority is doing here is extraordinary,” he said. “This was a significant amount of money that had to covered and I think they were extremely creative in their approach.”