NJ & NY Lawmakers Call For Roll Back Of Toll Hikes At Port Authority
In light of an independent report on the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, lawmakers in both states are calling for a roll back of the bi-state agency’s most recent round of toll hikes and asked Governors Christie and Cuomo to support their Port Authority reform legislation.
Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) and New York State Senator Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island) said based on the scathing nature of the audit, which characterized the bi-state agency as “challenged and dysfunctional,” the lawmakers are asking Governors Christie and Cuomo to reconvene the Port Authority’s board and recall the vote, which raised tolls and fares in September. They want to see tolls rolled back to prior levels until the board is presented with the proper information concerning the true financial situation of the Authority.
“Given the deficiencies detailed in the audit, it calls into question the need for the exorbitant toll hikes heaped on commuters last fall. Toll payers shouldn’t be forced to suffer for the Port Authority’s lack of oversight, insufficient cost controls and poor capital planning. Our governors and the Port Authority leadership should revisit this issue at once to determine if these hikes are in fact necessary,” said Vainieri Huttle.
Huttle and Lanza are also asking the Governors to enact their “Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Transparency and Accountability Act” (New Jersey Assembly bill A-1011/New York Senate bill S.5878), which will completely restructure the way the Port Authority does business. The bill cleared a New Jersey Assembly committee last week and Lanza said the legislation is on track for passage in the New York Senate.
“This independent audit calls for the exact type of overhaul laid out in our bipartisan legislation – more public transparency, regular audits, and greater financial accountability,” said Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “This is a measure that should, and must, be embraced by both Governors in order to rein in the waste and abuse that have gone unchecked for far too long.