New Jersey bills set rules on turnpike representation, regular meetings

January 26, 2018

Keith Goble

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Multiple pieces of legislation in the New Jersey statehouse are intended to give south 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 Transportation Committee voted to advance a bill to require the Turnpike Authority to hold regular meetings around the state.

The authority now meets monthly at their administration offices in Woodbridge, N.J., in the north part of the state.

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

South New Jersey Assembly members Chris Connors, Brian Rumpf, and DiAnne Gove released a joint statement on the bill’s committee approval. The group of legislators said 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 also would require at least one regular meeting of the authority to take place 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.

S246 awaits further consideration in the Assembly. The Assembly version, A798 is in the Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee.

The 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.

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.