Cuomo, Christie Veto Port Authority Overhaul

ALBANY (AP) -

The governors of New York and New Jersey jointly vetoed legislation Saturday aimed at overhauling the Port Authority and proposed instead a series of reforms they said would go further in bringing accountability to the agency.

The bill was designed to clean up an agency long known for dysfunction and scandals, including most recently the lane closures at the George Washington Bridge. It had the unanimous support of both states’ legislatures.

The bill would have required an independent annual audit, created an inspector general’s office, restricted lobbying and created a whistleblower protection program. It also would have required Port Authority board members to swear they’ll act in good faith.

Govs. Chris Christie of New Jersey and Andrew Cuomo of New York announced their vetoes in a joint statement. “While neither governor is approving the legislation as passed, they are urging their respective legislators and the Port Authority to work with them,” they said.

Supporters of the legislation, which would have required approval in both states to take effect, criticized the governors’ vetoes.

In place of the bill, Cuomo and Christie on Saturday said they would ask board members for their resignations and called for a single chief executive officer in place of an executive director and deputy executive director under the current system.