Christie, Cuomo veto Port Authority legislation, propose own plan
The governors of New Jersey and New York late Saturday vetoed legislation passed unanimously by each state’s legislature to overhaul the operations of the Port Authority, and instead endorsed their own plan to revamp the troubled bistate agency.
The governors of New Jersey and New York late Saturday vetoed legislation passed unanimously by each state's legislature to overhaul the operations of the Port Authority, and instead endorsed their own plan to revamp the troubled bistate agency.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, had until Saturday to take action on the legislation, which needed the signature of each state's governor.
He and Gov. Christie, a Republican, on Saturday evening released and endorsed a 103-page report compiled by a special panel the governors convened in May in the aftermath of the George Washington Bridge scandal, which laid bare cross-Hudson rivalries among Port Authority leadership.
The legislation sought to increase transparency and accountability at the agency, which operates the region's tunnels, bridges, and airports.
Christie and Cuomo suggested the measures didn't go far enough to reform the agency.
In one of his two veto messages, Christie said the legislation was "too narrow" and lacked "changes needed for reform."
New Jersey legislators moved quickly to denounce the vetoes. "These vetoes are terribly disappointing news for the people of New Jersey and New York, especially the commuters who get stung by toll hike after toll hike by this out-of-control agency," Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D., Hudson) said in a statement. "They rightly expected more from the governors after the revelations at the Port Authority over the last year."
He said the Assembly would communicate "with all the sponsors in both states as to the next step."
The governors proposed, among other provisions, replacing the authority's executive director and deputy executive director with a single chief executive, to be hired "as expeditiously as possible based on a national search directed by the Board of Commissioners."
They also seek to return the agency to its core transportation mission, and recommend divesting its real estate holdings and limiting new real estate investments.