New Jersey Senate approves bill to give public greater say on Turnpike Authority happenings

April 23, 2018

Keith Goble

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One bill hallway through the New Jersey statehouse is intended to give south New Jersey residents more of a say in happenings at the Turnpike Authority. The authority oversees the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway.

The Senate voted unanimously to advance a bill to require the Turnpike Authority to hold regular meetings around the state. It now moves to the Assembly.

The authority now meets on a monthly basis at their administration offices in Woodbridge, N.J., in north New Jersey.

The bill, S246, would require meetings to be held on a rotating basis in Ocean, Atlantic and Cape May counties.

South New Jersey Assembly members Chris Connors, Brian Rumpf, and DiAnne Gove have said in a joint statement the changes included in the bill are good policy.

“Bringing government closer to the people is always sound policy, especially when it involves an entity that directly spends taxpayer dollars or more specifically, in this case, toll revenue.”

“Turnpike meetings should be regularly scheduled in south Jersey in view of the fact a large segment of the Garden State Parkway is located in our area of the state and, most importantly, local residents pay a significant portion of the tolls that fund infrastructure projects and maintenance.”

The bill would also require at least one regular meeting of the authority be held annually on a rotating basis in the area of Salem, Gloucester and Camden counties. At least one regular meeting each year would also be required in Bergen County.

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S246 awaits further consideration in the Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee.

A second bill would require representation on the Turnpike Authority’s board by all regions of the state. At least one of the seven appointed members would be from Ocean, Atlantic or Cape May counties.

Sen. Christopher Connors, R-Burlington, has said it only makes sense that the southern end of the state has a representative on the Turnpike Authority to provide a more local perspective.

S245 is in the Senate Transportation Committee. The Assembly version, A799, is in the Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee.

To view other legislative activities of interest for New Jersey, click here.

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Keith Goble

Keith Goble has been covering trucking-related laws since 2000. His daily web reports, radio news and “OOIDA’s State Watch” in Land Line Magazine are the industry’s premier sources for information regarding state legislative affairs.