On Friday, June 10th the Governor signed into law LD 1538, “An Act To Amend the
Laws Governing the Maine Turnpike Authority and To Implement Certain Recommendations of the Government Oversight Committee in the Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability Report Concerning the Maine Turnpike Authority.” The bill is sponsored by Representative Richard Cebra, of Naples, and co-sponsored by 49 other legislators. The legislation implements recommendations of the Government Oversight Committee in response to the January 2011 report of the Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability regarding the MTA. Most of the changes address fiscal management and reformed governance of the Authority.
“In the months of working this bill through the system I am proud to have pulled together a broad group of interested legislators and citizens who have been committeed to putting the MTA back on the right track. LD 1538 is the result of a lot of hard work by a great group of dedicated people.” Said Rep Cebra
In March, Governor Paul LePage pushed for the appointed of Peter Mills as Executive Director to the Authority to help restore trust and confidence to the agency. The Governor is assured Judge Daniel Wathen, who was sworn in as a member of the Turnpike Board of Directors at the same ceremony, will complement the efforts by Director Mills to achieve the level of integrity that is needed to sustain the Authority moving forward. “The Maine Turnpike Authority has the potential to be a great resource to the people of Maine – supporting the economy and the creation of jobs – these reforms and this nomination will assist it in achieving that potential,” Governor LePage said.
The Authority is managed by a board of 7 members. Except for the member from the Department of Transportation who serves ex officio, all members are appointed by the Governor. Judge Wathen received unanimous approval this week from both the Maine Senate and Joint Standing Committee on Transportation.
Transportation Committee Chair Rep. Cebra praised the Governor for his recent appointments to the MTA. “The Governor has made two great selections which are indications of the Administration’s commitment to fix major problems that were identified with the Maine Turnpike Authority. The financial debacle discovered within the Authority needed to be addressed immediately and Governor LePage has done that,” said Rep. Cebra. “The signing of LD 1538 represents a new start that will help
restore trust to the Authority that was lost from Maine people.”