The New Jersey Senate overwhelming passed legislation (S-1675) sponsored by Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove that would require at least two regular meetings each year of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority to be held on a rotating basis in Ocean County, Atlantic County, and Cape May County.
The 9th District legislators issued the following statement on the Senate’s passage of the legislation:
“Holding meetings in the southern end of the state will allow the Turnpike Authority the opportunity to get a better understanding of local residents’ concerns with respect to the transportation projects. Residents who use the Garden State Parkway, especially those with long commutes, want to ensure that the hard-earned money they pay in tolls is not only being effectively utilized but that their area of the state is getting its fair share of funding for needed infrastructure improvements.
“Essentially, this legislation is an effort to give a stronger voice to south Jersey which, for decades, has been severely under-resourced in terms of transportation dollars. To help gain the necessary support, the legislation’s geographic scope includes requiring the Turnpike Authority to hold a meeting in Bergen County and at least one meeting in Salem, Gloucester, and Camden counties on a rotating basis.
“Not to be left unsaid, this is a bipartisan collaborative effort that we have undertaken with Senator Jeff Van Drew and the First District Assembly delegation. Large segments of our respective constituencies rely on the Parkway as their primary means of commuting. Given the impact Parkway projects can have on their commute and their community, tax and toll-paying residents want the opportunity to attend and participate in Turnpike Authority meetings so that decisions can better represent the public’s interest.”
Subsequent to passing the Senate, S-1675 was referred to the Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee to join the identical companion measure, A-3816.