From the Morning Memo:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is trying to find a way out of the license plate replacement controversy, but state lawmakers are not buying into the compromise his administration proposed just yet.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers over the last week have shared similar questions about the administration’s plan to require motorists with license plates ten years or older to purchase new ones for $25.

Cuomo’s office on Thursday released a statement from Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Mark Schroeder that floated a potential end to the controversy: Motorists with plates 10 years old or older could keep their plates pending an inspection to determine their condition.

Schroeder said the Cuomo administration was willing to work with lawmakers to develop the inspection plan before the replacement program begins next April.

But lawmakers were skeptical.

Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, a Democrat who represents Schenectady, knocked the proposal.

“It seems to me that NYS DMV Commissioner Schroeder missed the point. Drivers are not taking issue with replacing damaged plates but the governor’s program FORCES drivers to replace plates, regardless of condition,” he said.

The license plate plan over the several days has led to lawmakers criticizing the proposal as a “cash grab” that could net the state up to $75 million in the coming years.

GOP state Sen. Chris Jacobs said there is no reason anybody should have to pay to replace a plate that is in reasonable condition.

“We get buckled and dimed so much in this state and this is going to generate a lot of money for this state,” he said. “That’s why they’re doing this.”

The governor has stated the reason for the replacement plates is that the older generation does not register correctly with new cashless tolling technology, soon to be instituted across the Thruway system.

However, Democratic Assemblyman Sean Ryan said he has been doing his own research and found the technology already in place on the Grand Island bridges and the new Mario Cuomo Bridge seem to be functioning fine.

“I’m trying to figure that one out, but I haven’t heard any real research or information from the current people who run those cashless tolling programs if there’s an actual problem,” he said.

Jacobs is on the Senate Transportation Committee and called on its chair, fellow western New Yorker Tim Kennedy, to hold hearings about the issue. Republican Sen. Jim Tedisco of the Capital Region also wants hearings on the issue.

Kennedy said, in essence, that’s already planned.

“As always, the Senate and Assembly will hold joint hearings during the state budget process, which will allow for further examination of this proposal,” he said.

Kennedy said his committee will also review any legislation that seeks to address the issue.

Cuomo, meanwhile, has also lashed out at lawmakers, blaming them for the $25 fee set 10 years ago before he was governor. He’s challenged lawmakers to return to Albany for a special session and lower it themselves.

The measure approved in 2009 allows the DMV to set the fee that is “not to exceed” $25 — suggesting the DMV could simply lower the fee now without lawmaker input.