Turnpike Commission, PennDOT merger eyed
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.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Founder of Z&M Cycle Sales in Hempfield killed in Florida motorcycle crash
- State Supreme Court: Highmark Medicare Advantage members to retain in-network access to UPMC
- New Florence man charged with killing police officer
- Eight Pitt players named to All-ACC team
- Regoli won’t seek recount in Westmoreland County judge election
- Steelers stalled by Seahawks, on outside of AFC wild-card picture
- Steelers players say they support Tomlin’s attempts at deception
- Sports Deli is latest tenant to say goodbye to Parkway Center Mall
- Rossi: It’s past time for NFL to protect players
- Baseball America names Pirates as organization of the year
- Appeals court upholds sentence of man convicted of fatal shooting outside ‘The O’