South Jersey one step closer to getting regular turnpike meetings

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 6/13/2013

The New Jersey Senate voted unanimously to advance a bill that would require the Turnpike Authority to hold at least two regular meetings each year in South Jersey counties.

Regular meetings of the authority now are held on a monthly basis at the authority’s administration offices in Woodbridge, N.J., located in North Jersey. The authority oversees the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway.

On its way to the Assembly, S1686 would require meetings to be held on a rotating basis in Ocean, Atlantic and Cape May counties. A companion bill – A2529 – is awaiting consideration on the Assembly floor.

Sen. Christopher Connors, R-Burlington, said the change would provide South Jersey counties with a greater voice in projects overseen by the Turnpike Authority.

“Local residents need to have the ability to participate and play a larger role in the decision-making process regarding projects that will affect their communities,” Connors said in a news release.

Assemblyman Brian Rumpf, R-Burlington, said the change takes on greater significance following Hurricane Sandy.

“Holding hearings in other areas of the state on a more consistent basis will allow the Turnpike Authority to receive a great deal more input from local residents who can provide a more localized perspective,” Rumpf stated.

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