Lawmakers take up Maine Turnpike reforms


AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A legislative committee is considering a bill to overhaul Maine turnpike financial and administrative procedures in the wake of questions about lavish and unexplained expenses by toll road officials.

The Transportation Committee on Tuesday holds a hearing on a bill making several recommendations. They include transferring 5 percent of the turnpike’s revenues to the state Transportation Department and requiring the authority to submit detailed budgets of all spending. The bill also would change the Maine Turnpike Authority to a board of directors, add new rules on membership, and require that all purchases be by competitive bid.

The Government Oversight Committee voted last week to send a letter to the Transportation Committee suggesting that the board members serve four instead of seven-year terms.