Assistant Senate Republican Leader Joe Pennacchio stated the following about a troubling unilateral appointment by Pennsylvania’s governor to the Delaware River Port Authority board, which was exposed by the Philadelphia Daily News:
Sen. Joe Pennacchio said an exposé by the Philadephia Daily News on the questionable qualifications of DRPA board member Whitney White, pictured, further demonstrates the need for reforms to increase legislative oversight of the troubled agency. (Facebook)
“This Daily News exposé is yet another example of why the DRPA, with its continuing history of corruption, cronyism, waste, abuse and billions of dollars in debt, simply cannot operate unchecked. Our bi-state, bipartisan reform legislation would prevent unilateral DRPA appointments by Pennsylvania’s governor, just as any DRPA commissioner nominees by New Jersey’s governor must be approved in public by New Jersey’s Senate before being allowed on the board.
“Instead of appointing members who can have a positive effect for the commuters and taxpayers the current system continues to prove once again it’s not what you know but who you know that gets you appointed to the DRPA. Expressions that the DRPA can police itself are once again proven specious. Legislative oversight must be applied.
“Elected officials in both states need no more motivation to protect commuters, taxpayers and economic interests in New Jersey and Pennsylvania by enacting this legislation,” said Pennacchio, a veteran Senate Transportation committeeman. “Pennsylvania’s legislature is doing its part, and in New Jersey, we have 15 bipartisan New Jersey Senate sponsors. The Assembly Speaker publicly stated his confidence for passing this bill, which his fellow Assembly Democrat publicly vowed to introduce.”
In April 2014, Senator Pennacchio and legislative leaders from Pennsylvania introduced bipartisan crafted and supported bi-state legislation to reform the DRPA. For the second consecutive legislative session, the bill, S-2013, has been unanimously passed by Republicans and Democrats in Pennsylvania’s Senate. The Pennsylvania House is poised to act on the bill.