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February 20, 2015
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Port Authority Claims It Can Clean Its Own House, While Legislators Push Reform Bill

As the board of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey moves ahead with major changes to its leadership structure in response to Bridgegate and other scandals, its commissioners are rejecting charges that their internal efforts to boost transparency and accountability are inadequate compared with a reform bill passed by legislators in both states.

The commissioners voted yesterday to begin implementing governance changes despite vows by Democrats in the New Jersey Senate and Assembly to attempt an override of Gov. Chris Christie’s veto of the reform bill. That bill, which would subject the Port Authority to court-enforceable open-meeting laws; require commissioners to testify before either Legislature; and make numerous other changes, passed both states’ Legislatures unanimously last year.

Yesterday during a meeting in Jersey City the full Port Authority board voted to accept almost all of the special panel recommendations, most importantly the switch to a single CEO instead of a bifurcated leadership consisting of an executive director chosen by New York’s governor and a deputy executive director selected by New Jersey’s governor.

When a CEO is hired later this year, the board will also change its leadership structure, as recommended by the special panel report. Instead of having a chairman from New Jersey and vice chairman from New York, the states will begin rotating the chairmanship every two years, Degnan said.

One recommendation that the commissioners did not endorse -- even though some of them came up with it -- was for all the board members to offer to resign as an indicator of their willingness to accept the special panel’s vision.

See link to full article below.
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Port Authority Claims It Can Clean Its Own House, While Legislators Push Reform Bill
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