Today, the Assembly Transportation Committee adopted a resolution authorizing the issuance of subpoenas in order to further the panel’s investigation into the finances of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (Port Authority). 

The full General Assembly voted in March to grant the Transportation Committee subpoena power over the Port Authority, following months of bad press for the agency, two scathing audits of its practices and discrepancies in its explanation of how the additional revenue from the recent series of toll hikes would be expended.

“For months, the Port Authority has ignored or refused our repeated requests for information explaining their finances,” says Assemblyman John Wisniewski, chairman of the Assembly transportation panel.  “Yesterday, the U.S. Government Accountability Office issued a report that all but stated Gov. Christie killed the planned ARC rail tunnel under the Hudson River for political purposes. The Port Authority portion of that project was to have been $3 billion. Where did that money go? Were toll hikes necessary after this project was canceled? With the subpoena power granted this committee, maybe we can finally get some answers.”

Assemblyman John Amodeo, the ranking Republican on the Assembly Transportation Committee says, “Today’s approval granting subpoena powers to Chairman Wisniewski limits the input of the committee members, both Democrats and Republicans, and puts the focus on partisanship instead of objective fact-finding. This action takes the political aspect of this investigation to an even higher level and calls into question the impartiality of the investigation. Despite my efforts to keep the process as democratic as possible by amending the resolution to require committee approval of subpoenas, the Democrats proved they weren’t interested or concerned.”