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Maine Turnpike Changes Likely in Wake of Oversight Reports
02/14/2011 10:44 AM ET  

Some key lawmakers say the reports have raised questions about how the Maine Turnpike Authority compensates its employees.

In the wake of reports from a private think tank and an independent legislative office, the Maine Turnpike Authority is likely to face proposals to abolish it, or make significant changes in the way it operates.

Republican state Sen. Roger Katz of Augusta, who co-chairs the Legislature's Government Oversight Committee, says the reports have raised concerns.

"The Turnpike Authority does a great job at its core function of providing 109 miles of road each way, and does it in a very effective way--it's the best road in the state of Maine," Katz told Capitol News Service. "Having said that, there are some real issues here about the other two percent of their functioning, in terms of how they're spending their money, how they're compensating their top people."

Many executives at the Turnpike Authority make more than the state's transportation commissioner, and toll takers make more than most teachers.

Katz says he expects the Legislature's Transportation Committee to take a close look at how the MTA operates and to try to shift more toll money for road projects. While state law requires that any turnpike surplus be turned over to the state to help fix other roads, Katz says the MTA has made sure there is no surplus to turn over.



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