Turnpike pursues unpaid tolls/Fair Districts unhappy with amended redistricting bill

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What to looks for on Smart Talk Friday, April 13, 2018:

A Lancaster County woman allegedly owes more than $91,000 in unpaid tolls to the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.  The Commission claims she drove through the EZ Pass lane for years between Harrisburg and Mechanicsburg without paying a toll. She and others who have rolled up unpaid tolls and fees of more than $2,000 could face criminal charges for theft of services. 

The Turnpike Commission is cracking down after writing off the unpaid tolls for years.  A 2016 audit found up to $20 million a year in unpaid tolls.

Appearing on Friday’s Smart Talk to discuss efforts to collect the tolls and fees are Ray Morrow, Chief Compliance Officer with Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and Carl DeFebo, Director of Public Relations and Marketing, Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission

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Carl DeFebo, Ray Morrow of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission

Also, the House State Government Committee fired another salvo earlier this week in the battle over how Congressional boundaries are drawn in Pennsylvania.  The committee amended a bill that would have created an 11-member commission — that didn’t include legislators – to draw up district maps. 

The amended version calls for six lawmakers – one from each caucus – and two agreed upon by the General Assembly – to develop the maps. 

In March, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court adopted their own map and rejected ones submitted by the Republican-controlled legislature as too partisan.  This came after the court had ruled Congressional districts were gerrymandered to favor Republicans when adopted in 2011.  republicans are threatening to impeach the Democratic judges on the court for overstepping their Constitutional responsibilities.

The grass-roots group Fair Districts PA, that has campaigned for reforms in redistricting, was unhappy with the committee’s move.  Executive Director Carol Kuniholm is on Friday’s Smart Talk.

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Carol Kuniholm, Executive Director of Fair Districts PA