Connors-Rumpf-Gove Supported Measure Requiring South Jersey Representation on Turnpike Authority Advances
Bipartisan legislation sponsored by the 9th District legislative delegation requiring at least one member of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority to be from South Jersey was approved by the Senate Transportation Committee.
The measure, S-1674, sponsored by Senator Christopher J. Connors, would require at least one member of the Turnpike Authority be a resident of Ocean, Atlantic, or Cape May County. Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove are prime sponsors of the identical companion measure, A-3817, which is awaiting action by the Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee.
The 9th District delegation issued the following statement subsequent to the passage of S-1674 by the Senate Panel:
“South Jersey needs a stronger voice in transportation projects, including within authorities that have final say on infrastructure projects that impact local communities. Requiring at least one south Jersey representative on the Turnpike Authority is not only fair but practical given that a large segment of the Garden State Parkway runs through our part of the state.
“Justifiably, south Jersey residents want a seat at the table, especially after years of paying higher tolls imposed by the Corzine Administration. These same residents are fed up with the status quo, whereby South Jersey needs too often take a back seat to those of north Jersey.
“Consistent with our delegation’s ongoing efforts, we are also sponsoring legislation to require that at least two regular meetings of the Turnpike Authority be held in the Ocean-Atlantic-Cape May area. Meetings would be rotated among those counties creating more opportunities for local residents to engage in the decision making process involving infrastructure projects in their area.”
In an effort to garner additional support on a statewide level, the legislation has been amended in previous sessions to require that the Authority have at least one member be a resident of Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, or Salem County; at least one be a resident of Mercer County, Middlesex County, or Monmouth County; and at least one be a resident of Bergen County, Essex County, Hudson County, Union County, or Passaic County.