Governor Tom Wolf’s decision today to veto legislation intended to bring greater transparency and accountability to the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) is “disappointing coming from someone who campaigned on the platform of reform and a fresh start,” according to Senator John Rafferty (R-44).
Rafferty, who chairs the Senate Transportation Committee and sponsored Senate Bill 286 said he is disheartened that the governor chose to “close the curtain on transparency and veto legislation that received overwhelming support in the Legislature.”
He said the Senate has been working on the reform bill since 2010 and held numerous public hearings about practices of the DRPA that needed to be more closely monitored. He added that a federal judge recently slammed the DRPA for secrecy in its contracting practices. “The governor chose to veto a comprehensive reform measure simply because he doesn’t want the State Senate to confirm appointees to this very important board which has wide ranging power and authority and works in tandem with the state of New Jersey,” Rafferty said. “It’s a shame that he is refusing to sign such important reform legislation simply because he fears he will lose power over appointments.”
Rafferty said the New Jersey Senate currently has confirmation power over its appointees, something that he believes Pennsylvania should also have because of the responsibilities they have in their position.
“There have been issues with several of the Governor’s appointments, so I believe that the public has a right to know their qualifications and they should be carefully vetted, as are many other appointees,” he said. “The DRPA is trusted with millions of dollars in taxpayer money through the tolls that users pay. They should be accountable to the legislature and the citizens they serve.”
“This bill is all about transparency and good government – the governor’s veto prevents good reforms from being implemented,” Rafferty said. “That’s a slap in the face to the many commuters in the Southeast who rely on this transportation system.”
CONTACT: Nolan Ritchie (717) 787-1398