From the Morning Memo:

State lawmakers are making a push to waive the $25 fee for new license plates as a replacement program is set to begin in April.

The state Department of Motor Vehicles this week announced a replacement plan, with New Yorkers selecting the new plate design. But the design contest is being coupled with a mandatory program to turn in plates that are a decade old or older, beginning with the blue-and-white plates still on the road.

Lawmakers have blasted the plan, calling it a cash grab. On top of the $25 fee for the new license plate, it costs $20 for a driver to keep their license plate number.

Democratic Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara this week unveiled a bill that would bar the state from requiring drivers to buy new license plates, regardless of their condition or age.

“It seems like the state is finding new reasons to replace our license plates and it’s happening over and over again, costing us, the taxpayers, more money each time. Enough is enough,” Santabarbara said in a statement.

“Most people are happy with the plates they have, trying to get to work in the morning and take their kids to school. Who wants to pay extra for the governor’s new design project? If these new plates are so important he should pay for them, period.”

Drivers with damaged or peeling license plates can replace them with no charge.

Republican Sen. Jim Tedisco, meanwhile, has launched an online petition to oppose the license plate fee.

“It’s time to send a message to the governor, DMV and legislative leaders that taxpayers are tired of the state constantly reaching into people’s wallets and nickel and diming the over-burdened taxpayers of New York State and stop this latest money grab,” Tedisco said.

“I have been flooded with calls, emails, and social media posts from constituents who are outraged by this new License Plate Tax. It’s clear from the widespread statewide bi-partisan opposition to the License Plate Tax that it’s a bad idea and has little public support.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has defended the plate change, saying it’s necessary in order for the plates to be recognized by cashless tolling cameras, which will soon be throughout the state Thruway system.