The Governor will continue to appoint the DOT Secretary
S.315 would repeal a section of Act 114 of 2007 that sunsets the Governor’s ability to appoint the Secretary of the Department of Transportation. Act 114 also gave the Governor the ability to appoint the Secretary but it did so in a much more public fashion. The provision in Act 114 ending the Governor’s ability to appoint the Secretary (in 2015) did not appear in the online version of the law code until last year.
The effect of this bill would essentially be to perpetuate the status quo that has existed since 2007. This wouldn’t necessarily be a reform but it would be an improvement over transferring the power to appoint the Secretary to the DOT commission, which, like most of the state’s transportation system, is controlled by a few legislative leaders.
The Secretary isn’t the most powerful authority in DOT, in fact the positions chief responsibility is implementing the policies of the more powerful DOT commission. Regardless, the last thing our transportation system needs is more power concentrated in the hands of the DOT Commission and the legislative leaders who control it. The power to appoint the Secretary should remain with the executive, S.315 would ensure this is the case.