Vainieri Huttle Statement on Port Authority Reforms - June 23, 2015

Bergen Dispatch

Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen), one of the legislature’s leading champions for Port Authority reform, released the following statement on Christie's announcement:

“After their eleventh hour veto Christmas weekend it’s encouraging to see that both governors finally understand the importance of reforming this extremely troubled agency. 

“I’ve been working with my colleagues in New York to make sure that this bill, and all Port Authority reform efforts, overhaul the culture that has allowed dysfunction, waste and abuse to exist for so long.  This legislation includes much of what we have been fighting for over the past several years, including much of what the governors vetoed last year. 

“This is a good starting point.  My main concern is to make sure that the rushed nature of these reforms does not leave out key elements such as ensuring that the core mission of the Port Authority is refocused on critical transportation infrastructure needs; overhauling the management hierarchy; requiring greater financial accountability; and making sure that each state has an equal seat at the table.

“My number one priority all along has been to make sure reforms are substantive in nature and not simply business as usual masquerading as reform. I am thoroughly reviewing this proposal and will discuss it with my colleagues in New Jersey as we decide our next steps.  Our New Jersey constituents deserve no less.”

On Thursday, Governor Chris Christie and Governor Andrew Cuomo issued the following statements on Port Authority Reform Legislation:

Statement from Governor Chris Christie:
“Achieving much-needed reform of the Port Authority’s structure, management, operations and governance to secure its future as a transportation and economic cornerstone of our region is a goal that Governor Cuomo and I share. Based on bipartisan, collaborative work with representatives from both states, a bill is being introduced in New York that will achieve exactly the sort of reform that we are seeking, including the key elements of the recommendations of the Bi-State Special Panel and legislation introduced under Senator Tom Kean, Jr.’s leadership earlier this year.  I urge New Jersey’s legislature to introduce and pass this bill as well so that we can finally meet the standard for reform laid out by Governor Cuomo and me last year: a real, fundamental and long-lasting reimagining of the Port Authority that efficiently and transparently serves the needs of our region and the public.”
Statement from Governor Andrew Cuomo:
“The legislation introduced today adopts the comprehensive changes underway as a result of the recommendations made in December by the Bi-State Special Panel on the Future of the Port Authority,” said Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. “By enshrining these improvements into law, we will ensure the Port Authority will ably and effectively serve the people of the New York metropolitan region and returns to its original core mission of developing and overseeing regional transportation infrastructure. Enacting these critically important reforms will also ensure a more transparent and effective Port Authority. I want to thank Governor Christie and my partners in the legislature and in New Jersey for working together to guarantee that the Port Authority functions at the highest standards.”