Benninghoff Backs Bill Unveiled Today to Eliminate Turnpike Commission
4/17/2013
Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (far right) today attended a Capitol news conference unveiling legislation to completely eliminate the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and fold its responsibilities into the Pennsylvania Department of transportation.
HARRISBURG –
On the heels of recent pay-to-play corruption charges brought forward by the state attorney general against several high-ranking Pennsylvania Turnpike officials, Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin) today offered his support at a Capitol news conference for legislation that would abolish the discredited commission.

“This legislation would fold the Turnpike Commission’s responsibilities into the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation,” Benninghoff said.  “It seems redundant to have two state agencies to manage our roads and highways.”

House Bill 1197 would establish a new Bureau of Toll Administration within PennDOT to take over responsibilities currently handled by the Turnpike Commission.  PennDOT would honor collective bargaining agreements already in existence between the Turnpike Commission and its employees.

The Commonwealth would take over responsibility for the Turnpike Commission’s debt and use toll revenues to pay off that debt.

The proposal comes after a 44-month grand jury investigation led to charges against current and former Turnpike Commission top employees.  The charges stemmed from allegations that the workers operated a “pay-to-play” scheme by rewarding campaign contributors with lucrative contracts.

“The taxpayers of Pennsylvania and the travelers who pay the tolls on the Pennsylvania Turnpike deserve better than they have received from the commission,” Benninghoff said.  “We have reached a point where reform is no longer enough and the full elimination of the Turnpike Commission is the best option for our Commonwealth.”

House Bill 1197 was referred on Tuesday to the House Transportation Committee.

Representative Kerry Benninghoff
171st
District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact:  Dan Massing
717.772.9845
dmassing@pahousegop.com
KerryBenninghoff.com / Facebook.com/RepBenninghoff
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