New Jersey's 21st Legislative District

Senator Tom Kean, Jr.

Senator Tom Kean

Kean: Port Authority CEO Search Fails Due to New Jersey Democrats’ Inaction

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Calls for Senate President to Lift Roadblock to Port Authority Reform, Allow Vote After Multi-Year Delay

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said that the failure of New Jersey Senate Democrats to allow a vote on comprehensive Port Authority reforms has prevented the bi-state agency from hiring a chief executive officer despite a years-long search.

Sen. Tom Kean said that the failure of New Jersey Senate Democrats to allow a vote on comprehensive Port Authority reforms has prevented the bi-state agency from hiring a CEO despite a years-long search. (Flickr)

It has been reported that John Degnan, Chairman of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, will announce today that a national search to fill a new CEO position will be canceled due a lack of interest from qualified candidates stemming from uncertainty surrounding the role.

“We’ve warned for years that statutory reforms are needed to guarantee the stability that a top-tier candidate would require to assume this important leadership role at the Port Authority,” said Kean. “Despite these concerns, New Jersey Senate Democrats have prevented a final vote on legislation that would codify the structural and transparency reforms that would attract the type of experienced leader that the CEO role demands. Who would risk their career to take on such a high-profile, high-risk job if the role could easily be eliminated or manipulated by fickle politicians?”

Click here to view a timeline of Sen. Kean’s Port Authority Reform efforts from 2014 to the present.

Kean is the sponsor of S-355, which provides governance, transparency, and accountability reforms to the Port Authority.

Reform legislation identical to Kean’s has already been signed into law in New York, but has failed to be advanced by the Democrat-controlled New Jersey Legislature. The reforms have to be approved by both states to be codified.

Kean called for a vote on either S-355 or S -708 (Gordon/Weinberg), which was conditionally vetoed by Governor Christie to be identical to S-355, at the upcoming Senate session on Monday, June 19th.

“It’s time for Senate President Sweeney and his Senate allies to lift the roadblock and allow us to pass Port Authority reform,” said Kean “I don’t care whose name is on the bill that gets passed or who gets credit. We have tens of billions of dollars in infrastructure projects at risk, including the Gateway Tunnel and the new bus terminal. We have commuters and homeowners who are paying the price for legislative delays in lost time and lower home values. We cannot afford further inaction.”

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