27 Feb: Norcross Bill Aimed At Preventing Waste And Abuse At Port Authority Of NY & NJ Clears Committee

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Donald Norcross (D-Camden/Gloucester) to prevent the unnecessary use of public dollars at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates six tunnels and bridges between the states, the PATH rail system, marine terminals and ports, as well as airports in the region, was approved unanimously today by the Senate Transportation Committee.

The bill (S-520) is associated with the Government Reality Check Act, a five-bill package aimed at preventing spending and ethics abuses within all public bodies in New Jersey – from the Governor’s Office and the Legislature, to local governments, colleges, school districts and independent authorities. The reform bills would eliminate or sharply curtail spending associated with everything from official perks such as luxury car stipends and housing allowances to chauffeurs and government-issued credit cards. They would impose strict new ethics rules, such as a revolving-door policy banning officials from working with certain private employers for two years after leaving their government job, and create new standards of transparency and accountability.

“For too long government has been allowed to engage in rampant spending at the taxpayers’ expense, paying for everything from luxury cars to personal drivers and forcing the residents to pick up the tab. It’s well past time that we ended this culture of excess in government and required public entities at all levels to live within their means,” said Senator Norcross. “This package of bills will rein in unnecessary spending across government and ensure that entities that take in tax and toll dollars are held accountable to the people they serve.”