TRENTON – Three bills that seek to strengthen controls regarding the agencies that oversee bridges and ports will be before a committee later this week.
The proposed package of legislation that would affect the Delaware River Port Authority and similar agencies will be before the Assembly Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee.
In various ways, the bills being dealt with Thursday would impose greater restrictions on compensation in order to elevate ethical standards of authority and commission officers.
A1244, sponsored by Assembly members Paul Moriarty, (D-4), Turnersville, and Matthew Milam, (D-1), Vineland, would address the DRPA.
Among other things, it would prohibit DRPA commissioners, employees or officers from receiving compensation for use of a personal vehicle, from receiving exemptions from tolls, from being provided with drivers (except for law enforcement officers providing security); and from receiving personal lines of credit.
A1245, also sponsored by Moriarty and Milam, would set out the same kind of restrictions regarding the Delaware River and Bay Authority.
And A1246 would accomplish the same things regarding the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission.
The bills come at a time of renewed scrutiny regarding the port authorities in general.
The committee gave itself subpoena power earlier this year regarding the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey following a series of revelations at that agency regarding excessive perks, hiring practices, and the manner in which it held public hearings before hiking tolls.
In March, after these bills were introduced, the Comptroller issued a report critical of what it said was a pattern of abuse and waste at DRPA.
And long before that, Gov. Christie had targeted the PANYNJ as well for its past practices, citing billions in cost overruns for projects as well as its lack of transparency.