Emrick Legislation Addresses Toll Bridge Fare Increase
8/25/2011

Package of bills call for commission audit, empower governor to prevent similar instances

 

State Rep. Joe Emrick (R-Northampton) today is announcing a package of bills in reaction to the July 1 imposition of a toll bridge fare increase by the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission (DRJTBC). All three bills are currently being circulated for co-sponsors.

 

“I am still fighting to get the commission to reconsider the fare increase they imposed without gathering input from the public or business community impacted by their decision,” said Emrick, who originally asked for a one-year moratorium on the move. “In the interim, I am going ahead with legislation that would prevent this from ever happening again.”

 

Emrick’s primary bill would require an annual financial and management audit of the commission to be performed jointly by the auditor general of Pennsylvania and the state auditor of New Jersey.

 

“While provisions that call for member state auditing of the commission currently exist in the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Compact, neither Pennsylvania’s auditor general nor his New Jersey counterpart has the authority to conduct such an audit, thanks to an inconsistency in state law,” Emrick added. “There is a need for greater oversight of the commission, and my bill allows the commission to be appropriately audited after many years of no auditing taking place.”

 

Emrick’s additional bills provide for a gubernatorial veto over actions of commission members from Pennsylvania.

 

“Our friends from across the Delaware River have already enacted this provision,” Emrick said. “In order for this to take effect so that actions such as the recent toll hike are avoided in the future, Pennsylvania’s veto law must mirror New Jersey’s veto law.”

 

Emrick labels the fare increase a tax on commuters in more ways than one.

 

“Commuters who use the bridges every day are feeling it in their pocketbook and were never given the chance to speak out on the matter,” he added. “Businesses that use the bridges regularly will pass the ‘tax’ along to their customers and consumers, who will be hit again. There has to be a better way.”

 

State Representative Joe Emrick

137th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact: Scott Little                          

slittle@pahousegop.com        

717.260.6137             
RepEmrick.com         
Facebook.com/RepEmrick                 

Share |