Thank You, Pennsylvania. You’ve Been Buying Cars for State Officials

That is so generous of you. Since Jan. 1, 2007, the Pennsylvania Turnpike, using your money, has spent $407,496 unnecessarily buying new cars for its commissioners. Of the five state commissioners, only poor Barry Schoch, Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Transportation, doesn’t get a free car. These aren’t jalopies either. William Lieberman just got a $40,000 2013 Grand Cherokee to replace his broken-down old $38,448 2012 Grand Cherokee. The rest got Dodge Magnums and Ford Explorers.

The state argues that “assigned vehicles are appropriate and necessary for the job,” but the practice would seem to violate a 2007 law that held that no turnpike commissioner “shall be paid or receive any fee or other compensation other than salary and expenses provided by law for any activity directly pertaining to the duties of the commission.” The state also provides free gas and maintenance. New Jersey, by contrast, does not give free cars, EZ passes, air freshener, anything, to their commissioners. [Inquirer]