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Push Coming To Turn Policy Changes At DRPA Into State Law

(DRPA's board meets at the agency's headquarters in Camden, NJ.  Credit: David Madden)

(DRPA’s board meets at the agency’s headquarters in Camden, NJ. Credit: David Madden)

David Madden David Madden
David Madden is a Philadelphia native with virtually a lifetime of...
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By David Madden

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — The Delaware River Port Authority came under fire a few years ago for agency perks, like free bridge crossings and spending toll dollars on unrelated economic development projects. The agency, under political pressure, adopted a series of reforms to eliminate all of that. Now, there’s a push to go one step further.

Two Pennsylvania legislators and one from New Jersey plan to introduce bills on Monday that would make those policy changes permanent by adopting them as state law. North Jersey State Senator Joseph Pennacchio isn’t convinced that a new board won’t try to reverse those changes at some future date.

“Let’s clearly define what the issue is, how they should be treated and make no ambiguities about it,” Pennacchio says. “If they break the law, we want them to know that they’re breaking the law.”

And he’s not entirely convinced things have really changed at the DRPA. Neither is Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DiPasquale, who appointed onetime board member John Dougherty to fill his seat on the panel.

Dougherty had fought for reforms and more open operations at the agency during his prior board term.

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