A Bistate, Nominally Bipartisan Call for DRPA Reform

But you’ll never guess what it takes to change the agency’s charter.

After a nearly two-decade-long “economic development” spending spree fueled by almost $500 million in borrowed funds — you’ve seen the logo plastered all over the Kimmel, right? — the Delaware River Port Authority is facing a permanently chastened future:

In a rare bistate effort, Pennsylvania and New Jersey officials Thursday proposed an overhaul of the Delaware River Port Authority to ban economic-development spending and increase public accountability.

Republican legislators from both states, accompanied by Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, a Democrat who sits on the DRPA board, and Philadelphia union leader John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty, gathered on the Camden riverfront to outline their efforts to amend the federal charter that governs the agency.

“There have already been some changes made by the DRPA . . . but we want to make sure there’s no going back to the old ways,” said Pennsylvania State Sen. John Rafferty (R., Montgomery).

In addition to ending development spending, the soon-to-be-introduced legislation would require biennial audits, curtail executive salaries, and require disclosure of vendor political contributions. But the reform effort faces a number of hurdles, including New Jersey State Senate president Stephen Sweeney, a Democrat, and a byzantine procedure requiring “approval from both houses of both state legislatures, signatures from both governors, approval by Congress, and a signature from the president” to change the agency’s charter.

Somewhere, upon rising every morning, a lawyer still chuckles that he got away with that. (Inquirer)

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  • Perhaps. But there’s similar language in the charter of that other bistate Port Authority, the one that spans the Hudson, and in that of the Delaware River and Bay Authority, which runs the Delaware Memorial Bridge and the Cape May-Lewes Ferry. All three agencies required Congressional charters for their creation because their jurisdiction crosses state lines and spans navigable waterways.

  • rhc

    It’s called the CONSTITUTION, Moron!!
    Article I, Section 10, Clause III of the U.S. Constitution provides in part that “no state
    shall, without the consent of Congress, enter into any agreement or compact with another state.”

  • spike

    Make no mistake about it, none of these proposed changes will ever be implemented because the “Republican contingent ” are equally as guilty as the democratic contingent of abusing the public trust and public monies generated by the DRPA. These are the same people responsible for appointing the board of commissioners who over see where the money goes and you the voting will undoubtedly re – elect these very same political figure heads. . .and so the cycle continues