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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: January 18, 2013 03:26 PM
From: Representative Joe Emrick and Rep. Robert Freeman
To: All House members
Subject: Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Compact (Former HB1871, HB1872 and HB1873)
 
In light of the past toll hike without any public hearings or input, there is a genuine need for greater state oversight of the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission. Historically, the Commission has been a bastion of political patronage, and many of its financial and management decisions have been questionable at best. Oversight of the Commission has been a cumbersome issue because the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Compact, which governs the Commission, requires legal consistency between Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Because the decision of the Commission affect a large number of citizens and businesses whom I represent, I will be re-introducing a legislative package designed to rectify inconsistencies between Pennsylvania and New Jersey law relating to the operation and oversight of the Commission.



Document #1

Introduced as HB620

Description: Although there are provisions in the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Compact; that call for member state auditing of the Commission, an inconsistency in the state law has resulted in a situation where neither PA Auditor General nor NJ Office of State Auditor has the authority to conduct an audit. My first bill will amend PA law to provide that an annual financial and management audit of the Commission be performed jointly by the Auditor General of PA ant the State Auditor of NJ. Passage of this legislation will remove the current inconsistency between the two state’s laws on auditing and allow the Commission to be appropriately audited after many years where no auditing has taken place.
**Former HB 1873 was passed unanimously by the House of Representatives last Session.**
Former Co-sponsors-HB1873: FREEMAN, ADOLPH, AUMENT, BOYD, BRENNAN, R. BROWN, CARROLL, CLYMER, COHEN, DePASQUALE, EVANKOVICH, FABRIZIO, FLECK, GABLER, GILLEN, GROVE, HAHN, HARHART, HARRIS, HEFFLEY, HESS, JOSEPHS, KAUFFMAN, KNOWLES, KORTZ, LAWRENCE, MAJOR, MALONEY, MANN, MURT, OBERLANDER, O'NEILL, PEIFER, QUINN, REESE, ROCK, SACCONE, SAMUELSON, SANTARSIERO, SCAVELLO, SCHRODER, SIMMONS, TOEPEL, TOOHIL, VULAKOVICH, YOUNGBLOOD, DAY, RAPP and DONATUCCI
 

Document #2

Introduced as HB621

Description: Description: The second piece of legislation would amend PA law to grant the Governor veto power over actions of the Commission members of PA. NJ already has enacted such a provision granting its Chief Executive veto power over actions of NJ commissioners.  I believe the Governor of PA should also have the authority to review and veto actions of PA commissioners that do not serve the best interests of PA residents, such as the Toll Hike increase.
 
Former Co-sponsors-HB1871: FREEMAN, ADOLPH, AUMENT, BOYD, BRENNAN, R. BROWN, CARROLL, CLYMER, COHEN, DePASQUALE, EVANKOVICH, FABRIZIO, FLECK, GABLER, GILLEN, GROVE, HAHN, HARHART, HARRIS, HEFFLEY, HESS, JOSEPHS, KAUFFMAN, KNOWLES, KORTZ, LAWRENCE, MAJOR, MALONEY, MANN, MURT, OBERLANDER, O'NEILL, PEIFER, QUINN, REESE, ROCK, SACCONE, SAMUELSON, SANTARSIERO, SCAVELLO, SCHRODER, SIMMONS, TOEPEL, TOOHIL, VULAKOVICH, YOUNGBLOOD, THOMAS, RAPP and DONATUCCI
 

Document #3

Introduced as HB619

Description: The final bill in the package sets forth the process by which the gubernatorial veto may be exercised.  The Governor would have ten days to review the actions of PA commission members and either ratify, veto or allow the actions to stand (if he takes no action).  The language in the bill mirrors NJ law.
 
Former Co-sponsors- HB1872: FREEMAN, ADOLPH, AUMENT, BOYD, BRENNAN, R. BROWN, CARROLL, CLYMER, COHEN, DePASQUALE, EVANKOVICH, FABRIZIO, FLECK, GABLER, GILLEN, GROVE, HAHN, HARHART, HARRIS, HEFFLEY, HESS, JOSEPHS, KAUFFMAN, KNOWLES, KORTZ, LAWRENCE, MAJOR, MALONEY, MANN, MURT, OBERLANDER, O'NEILL, PEIFER, QUINN, REESE, ROCK, SACCONE, SAMUELSON, SANTARSIERO, SCAVELLO, SCHRODER, SIMMONS, TOEPEL, TOOHIL, VULAKOVICH, YOUNGBLOOD, THOMAS, RAPP and DONATUCCI