Pennsylvania Turnpike Lease: Two years of deliberation

An anonymous poster remarks that “we don’t want to rush into anything (like leasing the Turnpike)”, and compares it to the rush to pass Act 44. He/she is correct about Act 44, passed within two weeks of its first introduction without public hearing.

However, Thursday will mark the second anniversary of my testimony in which the Commonwealth Foundation first proposed a lease of the Turnpike. Since that time, the Commonwealth Foundation has testified at 4 legislative committee hearings on leasing the Turnpike; hosted 2 luncheon discussions with lawmakers and the public on leasing the Turnpike; released a full length report on public private partnerships and a policy brief on the Turnpike lease; offered numerous op-eds and analysis of the Turnpike lease; launched a website compiling facts about the lease deal; appeared on 3 television programs discussing the Turnpike lease and had 4 programs of The BOX dedicated to discussing the lease deal.

And that’s just our work. The media has vetted this story extensively, there have been other legislative hearings on the lease at which we did not testify, and other analysis (in particular from the Reason Foundation) has been produced on the lease deal. No one could possibly be accused of “rushing into” the Turnpike lease. Ironically, delaying the vote on a lease leaves Act 44—which was “rushed into” and has proven to be among the worst pieces of legislation ever enacted—on the books.

Commonwealth Foundation’s Turnpike Lease Timeline