MAJORITY LEADER WEINBERG STATEMENT ON FINAL APPROVAL OF PORT AUTHORITY BILLS

Weinberg

TRENTON – Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) and the co-prime sponsor of two bills to reform the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey issued the following statement today after the legislation received final legislative approval in the Assembly.

S2181/A3417 will provide for a systemic overhaul of the agency by imposing comprehensive transparency and accountability standards, and represents the first major bi-state reform effort for the Port Authority since the GeorgeWashingtonBridge lane closings a year ago. S2183/A3350 would increase the transparency of Port Authority decision-making by subjecting the agency to the public record disclosure laws of both states. Identical bills passed both houses of the New York Legislature unanimously in June. Today’s action by the Assembly sends both bills to Governor Chris Christie’s desk. The bills were expected to be sent to the desk of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo upon passage in New Jersey. Since the Port Authority is a bi-state authority, identical legislation must be passed and signed in both states before it can take effect.

 “The Port Authority has long operated as if it was exempt from basic government accountability standards. The abuse of power that shut down lanes on the George Washington Bridge and other issues that have plagued the agency underscore the urgent need for reform. These are comprehensive accountability standards that both Democrats and Republicans believe are critical for the effective operation of the agency. I want to thank Senator Gordon and Assemblywoman Vainieri Huttle for their dedication to this effort.

“Legislators on both sides of the Hudson River have completed their work on these bills, and passed identical legislation in their respective states.  It will now be the responsibility of Governors Christie and Cuomo to finish the job and sign these important reforms. I urge them to do the right thing. These bills are an important first step in the effort to overhaul this agency and finally give the public the transparency and accountability they deserve.”