TRENTON – Senator Bob Gordon and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg today announced that the Senate will vote to override the governor’s veto of legislation they sponsored to bring comprehensive transparency and accountability standards to the scandal-plagued Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The vote is scheduled for March 5.
“The Port Authority is an agency that has a real impact on the lives of our residents and its current policies have proven detrimental to the public,” said Senator Gordon, D-Bergen and Passaic. “On March 5th, we will ask our colleagues to vote with us to finally bring change to an out-of-control agency. We know this is an effort that we all believe in – Democrats and Republicans – and we urge our Senate Republican colleagues to do the right thing. They recognized a need for reform and voted with us to begin to bring this agency out of the dark ages. They owe it to their constituents, and to the residents of this state, to ensure this is accomplished.”
“When Governor Christie and Governor Cuomo vetoed this legislation, they threatened to undermine the work of legislators in both states that would bring more transparency and accountability to the bi-state authority. This is an agency that it is desperate need of reform. We knew that three years ago when we passed legislation to overhaul the port authority and impose basic government accountability standards at the agency. It is so much clearer now,” said Senator Weinberg, D-Bergen. “For the last year, Democrats and Republicans have demanded reform. Our Republican colleagues must work with us to overhaul this agency. They must stick to their principles and reaffirm their support for the legislation. It is time to bring real and meaningful change to the port authority. We will be working hard over the next couple of months to make sure that happens.”
S2181/A3417 will provide for a systemic overhaul of the agency by imposing comprehensive transparency and accountability standards. It represents the first major bi-state reform effort for the Port Authority since the GeorgeWashingtonBridge lane closings a year ago. Since the Port Authority is a bi-state authority, identical legislation must be passed and signed in both states before it can take effect. Identical versions of the reform bill passed both houses of the New York and New Jersey Legislatures. Governor Christie and Cuomo vetoed the legislation on the evening of Saturday, Dec. 27.
The New York legislative session expired at the end of calendar year 2014. The bill was reintroduced yesterday in the New York Assembly and is expected to be reintroduced in the Senate.