For Immediate Release
HARRISBURG – President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25) announced today that he has appointed D. Raja to serve as a member of the Port Authority of Allegheny County Board of Directors.
Raja was selected by Scarnati to serve as one of the eleven members of the newly restructured Port Authority of Allegheny County Board. Raja will begin serving his four-year term effective immediately.
“Raja is an exceptional businessman and brings extensive experience from the public and private sector,” Scarnati stated. “Raja’s personal and professional story is one I have admired and respected for some time. His background in entrepreneurship and dedication to advancing fiscal responsibility will provide great perspective for making decisions as a member of the Port Authority Board.”
“As a community leader and resident of Allegheny County, Raja has a solid understanding of issues facing the area and has a proven record of working to better the region,” Scarnati said. “His recognition as the Carnegie Science Center Entrepreneur of the Year in 2009 serves as an acknowledgement of his dedication to the area. The relationships he has fostered with public officials in both Pittsburgh and Harrisburg will be a true asset in his role serving on the Port Authority Board.”
The President Pro Tempore’s appointment to the Port Authority of Allegheny County comes as a result of passage of Senate Bill 700, which was signed into law in July as Act 72.
“Act 72 of 2013 took a crucial step to restructure the composition of the Port Authority Board and make certain that costs related to the Port Authority are not an excessive burden to Pennsylvania taxpayers,” Scarnati said.
Scarnati explained that under Act 72, the Governor, the Senate President Pro Tempore, the Minority Leader of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives are each tasked with appointing one member to the board. The remaining six members are appointed by the Allegheny County Executive. Prior to Act 72, the board was comprised of nine members, who were appointed exclusively by the Allegheny County Executive.
“Pennsylvania taxpayers expect and deserve to know that their tax dollars are being spent wisely and efficiently,” Scarnati stated. “Given the significant amount of funding the state contributes to the Port Authority, it is appropriate for state officials to have a voice on the board. I am grateful to my colleagues in the Senate and House for working with me to enact meaningful reform for the Port Authority.”
Scarnati noted that the Port Authority of Allegheny County has been a significant strain on state and local taxpayers for far too long, and through Act 72 the legislature has taken an important step to address the issue and move the Port Authority in the right direction.
“By ensuring that the board is comprised of various stakeholders and strong leaders like Raja, the Port Authority will now be governed in a transparent and efficient manner,” Scarnati said.