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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20190&cosponId=28565
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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: February 28, 2019 12:09 PM
From: Representative Joe Emrick
To: All House members
Subject: Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Compact
 
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 affects 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.

My first bill 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.

The second bill in the package sets for 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.

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 the PA Auditor General nor NJ Office of State Auditor has the authority to conduct an audit. The third bill in the package will amend PA law to provide that an annual financial management audit of the Commission be performed jointly by the Auditor General of PA and the State Auditor of NJ. Passage of this legislation will remove the current inconsistency between the two states' laws on auditing and allow the Commission to be appropriately audited after many years where no auditing has taken place.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.



Document #1

Description: Prior HB 649 - A supplement to the act of June 25, 1931, referred to as the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Compact, providing the Governor of each state with power to ratify or veto certain actions taken by commissioners.

Prior Co-Sponsors: R. Brown, Dush, Freeman, Gillen, Hahn, Irvin, Keefer, Lawrence, Mackenzie, Millard, B. Miller, Moul, Peifer, Ryan, Ward
 
 

Document #2

Description: Prior HB 650 - An Act amending the act of June 25, 1931, referred to as the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Compact, providing for veto power by the Governor over certain actions

Prior Co-Sponsors: R. Brown, Dush, Freeman, Gillen, Irvin, Keefer, Lawrence, Mackenzie, Millard, B. Miller, Moul, Ryan, Ward
 

Document #3

Description: Prior HB 651 - An Act amending the act of June 25, 1931, referred to as the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Compact, providing for audits.

Prior Co-Sponsors:  R. Brown, Dush, Freeman, Gillen, Irvin, Keefer, Lawrence, Mackenzie, Millard, B. Miller, Moul, Ryan