Wednesday, April 15, 2009

GOP Lawmakers Request Comprehensive Investigation

Republican Representatives Robert Hargraves (Groton) and Richard Ross (Wrentham) have requested that the House Post Audit and Oversight Committee launch a comprehensive investigation into the workings of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority. The request comes just days after massive traffic backups on the Turnpike, which the agency attributes to staffing issues.

“Cash strapped drivers are having a hard enough time as it is,” said Representative Hargraves, the Ranking Republican on the Post Audit and Oversight Committee. “They are being bombarded with increased toll and tax proposals and yet when they drive on the turnpike, any resemblance of efficiency is lacking.”

Given the public’s demand for fiscal responsibility by its government and the Legislature’s mission to be good stewards of the public trust, Representatives Hargraves and Ross say the investigation should look into all issues related to staffing and funding. Additionally, the two Republicans say all policies that may be impeding the smooth flow of traffic and compromising the safety and satisfaction of drivers who use the Massachusetts Turnpike should be included in the investigation.

“It is incredibly audacious that the Governor thinks the taxpayers should contribute one more of their hard earned dollars to a broken system that is no longer working,” said Representative Ross. “If this investigation is indeed launched, I believe we will see example after example of waste and inefficiency and will further support the need to dissolve the Turnpike sooner rather than later.”