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Vainieri Huttle Legislation Urging Port Authority Not to Recognize NY Transportation Inspector General Clears Panel

Assemblywoman: NJ Will Not Allow Cuomo to Seize Political Control of Bi-State Agency

Legislation Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle sponsored to denounce a recent single-handed effort by New York to introduce an office overseeing the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey – a bi-state agency – was advanced Thursday by an Assembly committee.

The resolution (AR-226) objects to New York legislation creating the Office of the Inspector General of New York for Transportation. The legislation gives the office the power to investigate and prosecute criminal and unethical conduct at transportation entities, including the Port Authority.

The establishment of the office violates the terms of the Port Authority Compact, an agreement between New Jersey and New York that New York is not permitted to unilaterally modify, said Vainieri Huttle. The Port Authority, which already has an Office of Inspector General, does not require a new office that answers only to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, she noted.

“The Port Authority is a bi-state agency. By going ahead and independently establishing the Office of the Inspector General of New York for Transportation, New York is violating the Port Authority Compact,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “The compact unequivocally requires the consent of the legislatures of both New York and New Jersey. This is a patently illegal and ill-intended effort by Gov. Cuomo to unilaterally seize political control of the Port Authority, and it cannot stand.”

The legislation urges the Port Authority not to recognize the legitimacy of the office and urges the New Jersey attorney general to act to declare the New York legislation inapplicable to the Port Authority.

The measure was advanced by the Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee, of which Vainieri Huttle is vice-chair.