Orie wants to change turnpike commission

Post-Gazette on Sen. Orie’s three proposals to reform the Turnpike Commission:

  • Prohibit the commission from hiring outside lobbyists.
  • Turnpike contracts and bond work would be competitively bid.
  • Future employees will be hired according to Civil Service Act.

While we doubt that the Turnpike Commission can be cleaned up by legislation from the Senate (which includes the greatest abusers of Turnpike Patronage), and only a competitively bid lease can ensure the greatest efficiency (included eliminating corruption), and the least cost to taxpayers (either through a highest lease price, or the lowest tolls for a given lease price).

That being said, I love the idea of getting rid of Turnpike lobbyists, especially as it seems those lobbyists are close to getting the deal the Turnpike wanted (no lease, higher tolls, more bonds, tolls on I-80). No way Mike Long signs off on this part of the plan.