Power Breakfast: Transportation bill passes, school cuts, GE jobs, AirTran, SunTrust, Coke

It’s been a long time coming. But the General Assembly finally passed a transportation bill that could ease traffic congestion over the long haul.

Breaking a legislative traffic jam that has endured for more than three years, AJC reporter Ariel Hart writes that the General Assembly on Wednesday voted to allow referendums throughout the state on transportation funding.

Speaker David Ralston led the Georgia House to pass the bill, HB 277, by a vote of 141-29. The Senate passed it 43-8 shortly afterward.

Hart explains that the bill would divide the state into 12 regions. A “roundtable” of local elected officials in each region, working with an appointee of the governor, would draw up a list of projects for the region. The region could then submit the list to its voters for their approval in a referendum, along with a 1 percent sales tax to fund them. No county could opt out of a region’s tax, but a roundtable could decline to hold a referendum in the region.

If the bill becomes law, it also will probably ease the substantial cuts MARTA was facing, though it was unclear Wednesday night by exactly how much. It lifts, for three years, a restriction on how the transit agency can use its revenues from sales taxes, freeing up several million dollars for operations, Hart writes.

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3 comments Add your comment

Winfield J. Abbe

April 22nd, 2010
8:12 am

Athens Clarke County has a public bus system. Most of the buses run around mostly empty with from 0 to about 5 passengers. They dangerously block traffic lanes and pollute the air with diesel exaust. The government has squandered about $ 20 million of property tax dollars on this wasteful and unsafe system since its inception about 19 years ago. Today it is subsidized to the tune of about $ 4 million a year from property taxpayers. But this government carefully avoids presenting the true cost date for the public to know. The last data published was the misleading figures from the year 2000. They deliberatly seek to fool taxpayers about the true costs of this public moneywaste. They could have bought a local cab company and done the same job for must less money. Of course, like Marta, they refuse to raise the fares to cover the true costs to about $20 per ride. Those who use these systems expect others to pay their transportation costs, and government non leaders, who watched too many Robin Hood movies on Saturday mornings when they were children, idolizing this outlaw, use his philosophy of steal from the rich to pay for the poor.
Athens Clarke County is the Robin Hood Communist capital of Georgia. Any company that would come to that cesspool must be out of its mind.

Rival

April 22nd, 2010
8:38 am

Winfield has been railing against Athens for years and they haven’t listened to him.

Why do you think anyone in Atlanta will?

Some people think they are wise just because they are cranky and old. Sad.

TnGelding

April 22nd, 2010
6:58 pm

Well, at least it is something. But it sounds unnecessarily complicated and divisive. The state neeeds to subsidize MARTA. It would be a good investment and benefit all.