Joined: Mar 17, 2005
Location: Staten Island
|Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:48 pm Post subject: LANZA CALLS FOR IMMEDIATE ROLL BACK OF PORT AUTHORITY TOLLS
From Feb 17, 2012 to Feb 19, 2012 (included)
Following another scathing report on the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, myself, along with Assemblyman Michael Cusick, New Jersey Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-NJ 37th), and the Staten Island Albany Delegation are calling for a roll back of the Port Authority’s most recent round of toll hikes and asking Governors Cuomo and Christie to support our legislation which will completely reform the way the Port Authority operates.
The Port Authority’s own consulting firm found that the Authority is a ‘challenged and dysfunctional organization suffering from poorly coordinated capital planning, insufficient cost controls, and a lack of transparent and effective oversight.’ Perhaps the most damning finding in the report is that the Port Authority was found to have insufficient cost controls which is analogous to a bank leaving its vault doors open. Similar conditions have led to financial scandals like those at Enron.
This audit is clear evidence of financial abuse and mismanagement at the agency, which makes the most recent round of toll hikes unjust and unreasonable. Clearly, the Port Authority management lacks the competency and moral authority to make the decisions which cost our residents. That is why I’m calling on Governors Cuomo and Christie to reconvene the Port Authority’s board and recall the vote which raised tolls and fares in September. Tolls should be rolled back to prior levels until a full audit is complete and the true financial situation of the Authority learned.
I have introduced multiple pieces of legislation designed to restore fiscal soundness to the Port Authority including:
S.5878 – The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Oversight Act withNew Jersey Assemblywoman Vainieri Huttle and Assemblyman Michael Cusick —groundbreaking bi-partisan, bi-state package of legislation designed tobring transparency and accountability to the Authority,crackdown on abusesandincrease public access and participation
S.6031 – Requires the tolls for bridges of the Port Authority to only cover the expenses of operating and financing such bridges (prevents the Authority from subsidizing real estate and other capital projects with toll money)
S.6034 – Requires an independent need assessment for any proposed increase in fees, tolls, or fares
S.5873 - Requires every voting member of the Port Authority Board to attend at least 2 public hearings in each county affected by any proposed toll or fare increases
S.5875 - Requires an annual independent audit of the Port Authority to be published on their website
S.6140 –Grants a personal income tax credit for 20% of the tolls paid to the Port Authority
S.6358 - Requires the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to adhere to accountability and transparency standards that were imposed on New York authorities in 2005 and 2009.
Please know that I am committed to seeing a thorough overhaul of the Port Authority. Staten Islanders shouldn’t be subsidizing the Port Authority's mistakes. Please visit my website Lanza.nysenate.gov for more information.