Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle signaled this afternoon that he’s willing to start negotiations with the House over a sales tax for transportation — regardless of any action on Gov. Sonny Perdue’s plan to reorganize the state’s transportation agencies.
“We are trying to keep those two issues completely separate. The issue of governance is separate from the issue of funding. Totally separate,” the lieutenant governor said.
Cagle’s remarks came during a press conference with Senate leaders to celebrate passage of its sales-tax plan — for the second time.
The House and Senate began the session in January with two different approaches to increased funding for road-building and other methods of people-moving.
The Senate quickly approved the same regional approach that nearly passed the Legislature last year. The House backed away, and this year passed plans for a statewide sales tax — incorporating a long list of possible projects to obtain support from lawmakers.
But the governor complicated the issue, by demanding the Legislature first rewire of all the state’s many transportation agencies — reducing the influence of the state Department of Transportation in favor of a new State Transportation Authority.
In a public appearance with the governor, Cagle and House Speaker Glenn Richardson agreed.
The Senate quickly passed S.B. 200, but similar legislation in the House has stalled, and could be gutted as early as this afternoon.
That’s no skin off his nose, Cagle as much as said today. “The speaker made the commitment to the governor,” Cagle said. “That commitment was not necessarily with the lieutenant governor. It was made with the governor.”
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