Assembly moves Port Authority bills

TRENTON – The Assembly passed several bills affecting the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

A699, co-sponsored by Ruben Ramos Jr., (D-33), Hoboken, and Connie Wagner, (D-38), Paramus, requires payments in lieu of taxes for tax-exempt property in New Jersey that is owned by the Port Authority.

The payment would be equal to what the school and municipal taxes would be on the property if it were not tax-exempt.

The Assembly passed the bill following a 48-28 vote with two abstentions.

S1761, substitute for A1011, known as the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Transparency and Accountability Act, also passed the Assembly. The bill makes improvements to the way the authority conducts meetings and public hearings, according to the legislation.

The bill creates specific requirements for, among other things, an independent auditing of the Port Authority; publication of open meeting minutes and meetings of the authority’s Board of Commissioners; requires public hearings to be held in the port district of New York and New Jersey to discuss any proposed fee, toll, charge or fare increase; establishes audit, finance and governance committees.

The bill passed following a 61-0 vote with 18 abstentions.

Other bills that passed today:

A2029:   This bill designates the “Honor and Remember Flag” as the state’s official flag for recognizing those in the armed forces who have given their lives in the line of duty.

The flag idea came about after the death of George Lutz’ son in Iraq.  After Lutz learned that the United States did not have an officially recognized symbol to acknowledge the sacrifice of the estimated 1.6 million American service members who have given their lives, the “Honor and Remember Flag” was conceived. 

It passed unanimously.

A2023: This bill would prohibit a person from knowingly slaughtering a horse for human consumption purposes, and from selling for human consumption the flesh of a horse.

It passed 72 to 3.

Assembly moves Port Authority bills