TribLIVE

| State


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Turnpike Commission, PennDOT merger eyed

Daily Photo Galleries

Thursday, April 29, 2010
 

HARRISBURG -- Gov. Ed Rendell has asked lawmakers to consider rolling the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission into PennDOT.

He raised the issue with legislative leaders during a conference call this week, lawmakers said Wednesday.

Gary Tuma, Rendell's press secretary, declined comment.

Over the past three decades, lawmakers of both parties have tried without success to abolish the turnpike commission, which has served as a base of patronage and lucrative contracts for political supporters of governors and legislative leaders. Rep. Mike Vereb, R-Montgomery County, has a bill pending this session that would eliminate the commission.

Considering whether to merge the agency with PennDOT comes as state and federal grand juries are investigating the commission.

"If there was ever a time to do away with the Turnpike Commission, it's now," said political analyst Larry Ceisler of Philadelphia.

"If Republicans are looking for efficiency and streamlining government, I'd think they'd have the will to do it," he said.

Rendell is a lame duck Democrat with nine months to serve, and is free of political burdens because he says he is not running for any office again, Ceisler said.

Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati, R-Jefferson County, said he is skeptical of huge savings from a merger and questions moving "patronage from one agency to another."

The turnpike merger is one of a range of revenue proposals Rendell wants legislators to consider in a May 4 special session. He is not wedded to a single solution, Tuma said.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Pennsylvania

  1. Wolf touts in-home care for seniors
  2. Walking gets increasingly deadly for pedestrians in Pa.
  3. As House looks to dismantle state stores, hybrid system might be option
  4. Pa. Senate approves ‘paycheck protection’ constitutional amendment
  5. ‘Tipping point’ near for Pa. government, conservative expert predicts at Freedom Forum
  6. PEMA, National Guard helping Bradford after water runs dry
  7. 3 killed, 1 wounded in Philadelphia shootings
  8. Former state Treasurer McCord’s quick fall prompts deeper analysis