***MEDIA ADVISORY — THURSDAY*** ASSEMBLY TRANSPORTATION PANEL TO CONSIDER BILLS TO ENHANCE OVERSIGHT, TRANSPARENCY AT NY/NJ PORT AUTHORITY

Committee Also Will Receive Testimony from Port Authority Officials

(TRENTON) — The Assembly Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee is set to consider a four-bill package Thursday that would greatly increase oversight and transparency at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Members of the bi-state agency also have been invited to testify before the panel on the authority’s operations.

Transportation panel chairman, Deputy Speaker John S. Wisniewski, said that the hearing was necessary in light of an increasingly alarming series of news reports on the agency’s actions and operations.

“As various news reports have indicated, we have in the Port Authority a multi-billion dollar bi-state agency funded by tolls and taxpayer dollars more or less operating with no outside oversight,” said Wisniewski (D-Middlesex). “With reports of toll hikes not being used for their stated purpose, ridiculous levels of perks for authority retirees and an overtime ledger in the tens of millions of dollars, the Democratic members of the Transportation Committee are very concerned that we have an out-of-control agency living high on the hog at the expense of New Jersey taxpayers and commuters.”

The following Port Authority reform bills will be considered at 10 a.m. Thursday by the Assembly Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee:

A-699
Ramos/Wagner
Commences payment in lieu of taxes for tax exempt real property owned by Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

A-1011
Vainieri Huttle/Wagner/McHose/Ramos
“Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Transparency and Accountability Act.”

A-1247
Moriarty/Milam
Imposes restrictions concerning Port Authority of New York and New Jersey commissioners, officers, and employees regarding employment, gifts, and compensation.

A-2166
Wisniewski
(pending intro and referral)
Requires Legislative approval of Port Authority of New York and New Jersey minutes.