STATEMENT August-1-2017


TRENTON – Senate President Steve Sweeney, Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg and Legislative Oversight Committee Chair Bob Gordon today praised John Degnan’s leadership at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and endorsed the selection of former Senator Kevin O’Toole to replace him as Port Authority chair.

“New Jersey has had no better champion than John Degnan,” said Senate President Sweeney (D-Gloucester). “In his two years as Port Authority chair, John fought successfully with us to return the Port Authority to its core transportation mission, from building a new Port Authority Bus Terminal to taking the lead role in planning the new Gateway Rail Tunnels. I have full confidence that Kevin O’Toole will build on John’s legacy of championing the best interests of commuters on both sides of the Hudson River.”

Senate Majority Leader Weinberg (D-Bergen) noted that before Degnan took over as Port Authority chair, funding for a new Port Authority Bus Terminal wasn’t even included in the agency’s 10-Year Capital Plan.

“It was a long, hard fight, but today we have $3.5 billion earmarked for the new bus terminal in the Capital Plan, planning is underway and improvements are being made to the current facility that will improve the quality of life for our 120,000 New Jersey bus commuters,” Senator Weinberg said. “Just as important, John restored integrity, accountability, transparency and openness to a troubled agency, from new ethics and conflict of interest rules to seeking public input on critical board decisions. He was a staunch, unflinching ally, and we will miss him. I look forward to working closely with Kevin O’Toole to build on John’s achievements.”

“John Degnan exercised his power as Port Authority chair to meet the region’s transportation needs by fighting to expand trans-Hudson commuter capacity, which is critical to our region’s economic growth and prosperity,” said Senator Gordon (D-Bergen-Passaic). “He recognized the threat posed by the potential shutdown of the Sandy-damaged Hudson River Tunnels, and battled to expedite construction of the new Gateway Rail Tunnels and a new and expanded Port Authority Bus Terminal before the old rail tunnels fail. I look forward to working with my former colleague, Kevin O’Toole, to continue to advance a sensible regional transportation agenda.”