HARRISBURG – Efforts by state Rep. Joe Emrick (R-Northampton) to tighten control over activities of the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission (DRJTBC) are a step closer to becoming law following overwhelming bipartisan support of House Bill 652. The legislation, which passed unanimously, may now be considered by the Senate.
“The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission exists under a federal charter, meaning the two entities in which it exists – Pennsylvania and New Jersey – must pass identical legislation and have it approved by the federal government,” Emrick said. “Our friends from New Jersey have done their part and are waiting on us and have been waiting for far too long.”
Emrick’s bill would take a three-pronged approach to increasing scrutiny over the commission:
- Calls for an annual, joint audit of the DRJTBC’s finances and management operations by both the auditor general of Pennsylvania and the state auditor of New Jersey. The commission is currently audited every other year by an auditor OF THEIR CHOOSING.
- Requires the minutes of every DJTBC meeting to be delivered to the Governor of Pennsylvania and prevents any commission action from taking effect unless approved by the governor within 10 days of receiving those minutes.
- Allows both the governors of Pennsylvania and New Jersey to veto any action of any commissioner from their state within that 10-day period.
“Seven years ago, the commission instituted a questionable fare increase without giving commuters or businesses a voice in the toll hike,” added Emrick. “Taxpayers deserve better, including a thorough and more frequent audit of the commission’s books so they have a better handle on how their money is being spent.”
Questions about this or any legislative issue should be directed to Emrick’s district office at (610) 588-8811 or (570) 897-0401.
Representative Joe Emrick
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Scott Little
RepEmrick.com / Facebook.com/RepEmrick