|Posted:||January 5, 2017 03:20 PM|
|From:||Senator John C. Rafferty, Jr.|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||DRPA Compact Reform|
|In the near future, I plan to re-introduce legislation – SB 286 of the 2015-16 Session – to require comprehensive reform measures at the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA), which I have sponsored since 2010.
DRPA manages four critical bridges – the Ben Franklin, the Walt Whitman, the Commodore Barry and the Betsy Ross Bridges – and operates the Port Authority Transit Corporation (PATCO), which provide a vital transportation connection for the citizens of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. In 2015, over 98 million vehicles traveled over these bridges and around 10 million passengers commuted via PATCO. DRPA is a large, bi-state public trust with operating revenues exceeding $340 million, but it falls significantly short on accountability, transparency and stewardship to the citizens they serve.
Comprehensive reform measures are needed at DRPA due to the multiple accounts and investigations of corrupt and unacceptable practices over the last six years, including patronage hiring, lack of transparency, lavish perks, burdensome toll increases, excessive spending and debt, discredited appointees, etc.
We, as stewards of the public trust, must ensure this piece of legislation is finally enacted. I want to applaud my colleagues from both Chambers and from both sides of the aisle who voted for this bill last Session. After years of elevating the need for these comprehensive reform measures, we were finally successful in moving this legislation to the Governor’s desk. Unfortunately, the Governor vetoed every critical reform measure as a result of including the Senate’s confirmation of the Governor’s appointees to the DRPA board at a public hearing with a public vote. I implore you to read my op-ed attached to this co-sponsorship memorandum that details my sharp criticism of the redundancy of the Governor’s veto on important, good government bills.
The comprehensive reform measures include, in no particular order:
SB 286 was sponsored by STACK, GREENLEAF, PILEGGI, VULAKOVICH, YUDICHAK and BLAKE.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this much-needed legislation to reform DRPA on behalf of the hard-working taxpayers and commuters of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact Nolan Ritchie of my staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Introduced as SB170