TRENTON – A scathing independent audit of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey found obscured billions at the shadowed agency this week, but today Gov. Chris Christie would not take a stance on legislation requiring such audits, among other things.
A package of bipartisan bills was submitted last week to address concerns of lack of transparency and possible mismanagement at the Port Authority, including measures allowing legislative budget vetoes, independent audits, and increased public participation.
Asked today whether he would back the bills, Christie gave the answer he gives when he doesn’t want to give an answer yet: I’ll consider them when they come to my desk.
“I’m not certainly going to take any position right now,” Christie said, turning the table back on the lawmakers.
Last year, Christie put his considerable political might behind shadow government legislation that would have increased oversight for many statewide quasi-governmental, yet independent authorities and agencies. But the Legislature never moved on the bills.
Christie called the selective legislating a shining example of “the hypocrisy of many in the Democratic majority.”
Even so, the Port Authority by far has a larger budgetary liability than all of the other authorities and agencies in the state. So, then, wouldn’t Christie agree that it is more important to have oversight and transparency there compared to the other authorities? “It’s only half ours, by the way,” Christie said, avoiding the question.